In collaboration with the media sector, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland developed novel services in the Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation-financed Digile Oy's Next Media programme that ended recently.
The media sector has undergone a major transformation, turning itself into a business taking advantage of various digital terminals at international, national and local level. The Next Media programme included, for example, development and testing of new customer-centric digital services concepts. Results of the programme are presented in a magazine-style format: http://www.nextmedia.fi/magazine
The key to creating the ultimate customer experience is in understanding customers
In the programme, VTT was widely involved in the development of digital services in collaboration with their potential users. Owela (Open Web Lab, http://owela.fi/), the online platform for open innovation developed by VTT supporting various stages of development, was exploited in user-centric co-development. In addition to blog-based discussion tools for the parties involved, the stakeholders also used other Owela online tools, such as surveys, polls and diaries.
Furthermore, the programme developed and tested a prototype system for measuring media use. The prototype automatically collects information on the use of media services on PC, tablet and smart phone. Other information on media use can be collected through an online media diary, developed for the purpose. The information collected on the media use of consumers can be applied to service development.
Smart recommendations need versatile profile data
The methods developed by VTT in the Next Media programme were applied to targeting of different content and services, such as recommendations of events, magazine articles, books, television programmes, movies and games. Recommendations were based on user's interests and context. One of the methods developed − a completely new type of self-learning algorithm recognizing similarities between the user and various contents − was patented.
Bringing digital dimension to print media by means of augmented reality
Physical and digital media were brought together in various projects. For example, user experience from the Sparkly demo developed by VTT showed that augmented reality can bring a useful digital dimension to print media. See the video: http://youtu.be/AjDjsmr0G14
In collaboration with its business partners, VTT also developed a location-based service for browsing news, event advertisements, and messages either on a map platform or visualised in their real physical environment. With the help of this application, the user can experience information related to his or her immediate environment in a totally new manner, displayed on the top of the mobile phone's camera view directly at the location of the event.
Common identification and payment system for the media sector?
The programme developed a first prototype for making the sale and use of electronic media products easier. The service combines customer identification with easy payment for a media product, such as an afternoon paper. VTT played an important role in both recognizing the user needs and prototype development.
VTT also made experiments on html5-based newspaper publication, aimed at automatic digital production process of newspapers, and provided assistance for defining the transmission chain and operating models for e-book metadata required for electronic library services.
The Next Media programme, initiated by Digile Oy, studied the key development areas of a media sector making the transfer towards digital services. The studies included the media experience in digital terminals, the significance of media in the everyday lives of people, and the management of large amounts of media data. The Next Media partners included nine research organisations and 76 companies. Sanoma served as the lead company of the programme.
Original release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-06/vtrc-nmc061914.php