As per Kaltura tradition, we started the new year with a bang, holding our annual Hackathon!
19 teams of coders, developers, programmers, and other Kaltura professionals got together for 3 days full of innovation, development, and a lot of empty takeout containers, to present what they believe is the future of TV and online video.
Each team brought their A game to this year’s Hackathon, covering virtual and augmented reality, Blockchain technology, and more, but there can only be 1 top spot.
Taking the top spot was the Live Insights team, with team members Johnathan Kanarek, Elram Damti, Dvir Hazout, Gilad Nadav, Ofer Luft and Rachel Bennett.
Live Insights is an AI server plugin that generates actionable insights from live streams, based on object, face and text recognition. The Live Insights plugin is based on existing technology and is capable of learning selected objects, detecting the object within live streams, and triggering action in the form of unmanned live clipping, analytics workflows, and automated VOD archives. It can also be integrated with 3rd party actions like advertising.
The Live Insights team used as a real-world use case, setting the plugin to pick up on a certain persona and/or headline, i.e., President Trump discussing North Korea. The plugin will automatically clip and save every instance of President Trump’s face along with text on the screen reading North Korea. And it’s not only useful for news and media outlets, but Cloud TV and OTT services can also enhance their advertising efforts with Live Insights through smart ads. For example, every time a cup of coffee appears on the screen, an ad for Folgers Coffee will pop up.
It’s basically like having an entire team of content taggers and video editors that work around the clock.
Congrats Live Insights team!
Now let’s look at some of the other exciting projects that came out of this year’s Hackathon:
The Watch N’ Shop team, comprised of Irena Liebman, Shay Marad, Shmulik Kummer, Michael Kondratiev, and Anat Grossberg brought together television and online shopping. In short, the addon to the Kaltura TV Platform allows viewers to shop for items and merchandise that are displayed on the screen.
Just imagine watching your favorite show, and every time there’s an item that can be purchased, a small popup will appear with the product name and a link to it.
Do you like Don Draper’s Sunglasses? You can buy them while you’re watching Mad Men.
And it doesn’t stop at just product placement, but also works with merchandise. You can be watching Game of Thrones, and when Khaleesi’s dragon enters the frame, a pop-up linking to a licensed GoT dragon plush will be made available.
The KalPrize team, with Arthur Vaverko, Ronen Kotzer, Amishai Guilburd, and Elad Plotski came up with a new and interactive way for engaging with TV viewers. Influenced by gaming, the KalPrize module brings points and achievements to Cloud TV through trivia games, sports questions, polls, sharing to social networks, and more.
The points and achievements can then be traded for rewards, like discounts and promotional content. By creating an interactive game-based layer atop a traditional TV experience, the KalPrize team is sure their project can help with retention figures, increase the time users spend in the service and reduce churn rates by offering more engagement and viewer incentive.
BTV, from the collective minds of Anton Afanasiev, Sagi Volfovich, Igor Hofman, Ophir Hechter, and Stas Shulgin, takes a Blockchain approach to streaming and IP-TV.
By leveraging the combined computing and GPU power of a userbase’s devices, BTV makes it possible to mine for cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Litecoin, while watching TV. The result can be beneficial for both service providers and viewers. Service providers can increase revenue by having viewers unearth newly released coins, while viewers can benefit from monetary incentives like discounted subscriptions and fewer ads in exchange for those coins.
The Blockchain oriented addon can also be integrated with any Blockchain clone, meaning service providers can launch their own ICO (Initial Coin Offering), and have viewers mine their own cryptocurrency.
Those were the highlights from this year’s Kaltura Hackathon. See you next year!