Project Overview

Context

The COGNITUS platform is a result of the COGNITUS project which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (under grant agreement No 687605). Technological advances in ultra high definition (UHD) broadcasting and mobile social sharing leading up to the start of COGNITUS, coupled with over fifty years of research and development in multimedia systems technology, motivated research into how user-sourced media could enrich the conventional broadcasting experience. The three year COGNITUS project brought together experts across Europe in video broadcasting, processing and analytics, with the aim of enhancing conventional UHD broadcasts by combining it with quality user generated content (UGC). See our Partners page for information on the partners involved,

The COGNITUS platform was developed in response to an era of multimedia capture and consumption trends: (i) the general public progressively capturing more multimedia content via mobile phones, and sharing via social media platforms; (ii) changing media consumption by audiences, with increasing demand for superior picture quality evidenced by the increasingly wide availability of UHD TVs, High Dynamic Range (HDR) TVs and new display technologies. While these trends presented opportunities to provide new engaging experiences to audiences, COGNITUS identified a number of significant gaps in bridging the necessary technologies. Notably, a lack in variety of good quality UHD content existed at the outset of COGNITUS (partly due to very high production costs). Furthermore, available UGC media was typically poor technical and editorial quality. Any existing market solutions for exploitation of crowd-sourced multimedia content (e.g. from social media platforms) lacked reliable quality control and enhancement mechanisms, which COGNITUS technical innovations stepped in to address.

Objectives

COGNITUS delivered compelling evidence for the validity, effectiveness and innovative power of user-involved UHD content creation. COGNITUS gained wide interest at national and international workshops and trade shows, including IBC, broadcasting events such as EBU conferences, and two TV appearances. COGNITUS elicited interest from broadcasters, content producers, technology providers and system integrators. The project demonstrated the significant role that user-involved UHD content creation can play in creating an immersive and interactive broadcast experience. More specifically, the project achieved its primary objectives:

  • Developed technologies that support the generation of interactive UHD media
  • Harvested the full potential of both professional HD content and UGC
  • Tested the viability of combining user generated content into broadcasts for interactive UHD experiences at large scale events
  • Considered methods to incentivise users to share their content with broadcasters
  • Enabled the production of UHD content from varying qualities of source media
  • Enabled user interaction in broadcast event planning
  • Developed a system of quality metrics for measuring the user experience

Deployments

The COGNITUS technical innovations culminated in a novel platform and suite of applications. Two installations were set up at the BBC in the UK and at FORTHNET in Greece, and large-scale deployments were launched at high profile cultural entertainment and sports events across both countries. UGC video content was captured, enhanced and enriched by the COGNITUS technology components, and validation was provided by UGC contributors and producers. The ability of the platform to support the COGNITUS mission was demonstrated successfully. Very positive results were received on the platform’s performance under real conditions, and from the contributors and producers interacting with the platform.

For more information on our approach, including trials, demos, and workshops see:

See here for Project Results