January 19, 2012 § 4 Comments
Mozilla partners with public media to empower citizen engagement in U.S. election coverage
Tuesday’s State of the Union Address from U.S. President Barack Obama will include something special: crowdsourced captions and subtitles provided by everyday citizens around the world.
Using new web tools from Mozilla and the Participatory Culture Foundation, participants will transcribe and translate the President’s speech into dozens of languages in a matter of hours, making it more accessible to those with disabilities and in other countries across the globe.
Launching “Open Election 2012”
The event marks the launch of “Open Election 2012,” a new partnership between Mozilla, PBS NEWSHOUR, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Participatory Culture Foundation.
Open Election 2012 will showcase how new open web technologies and citizen participation can make election coverage more accessible to diverse audiences, and provide new ways to engage with the news.
Adding context and interactivity with Mozilla Popcorn
Throughout the election, PBS NEWSHOUR will also use “Mozilla Popcorn,” a new HTML5 media tool Fast Company recently called “the future of online video.”
Popcorn makes it possible to pull other content and context from across the web right into the story, providing new ways for viewers to interact with video news.
Engaging and inspiring audiences
“It is part of the mission of public media to make our content available to everyone,” explained Hari Sreenivasan, Correspondent and Director of Digital Partnerships for PBS NEWSHOUR.
“From Chinese to Dutch, the speech translation is a true service for those for whom English is a second language and the hard of hearing. We hope to engage and inspire audiences too often forgotten.”
October 26, 2011 § 4 Comments
Mozilla Popcorn has been getting some noteworthy applause and media attention lately, with Wired and Fast Company both calling it the future of online video. As we approach the launch of Popcorn 1.0 at the upcoming Mozilla Festival, it’s looking more and more like the kernel of something that can blow up big.
Wired: Popcorn “could be the next big thing in internet video”
At Popcorn Hackathon, Coders Team With Filmmakers to Supercharge Web Video
Popcorn.js, which few outside the web-development world have ever heard of, could be the next big thing in internet video. It’s a simple — for coders, at least — framework that allows filmmakers to supplement their movies with news feeds, Twitter posts, informational windows or even other videos, which show up picture-in-picture style. For example, if a subject in a film mentions a place, a link can pop up within the video or alongside it, directing the viewer to a Google Map of the location.
Popcorn-powered videos work in any HTML5-compatible browser and are easy to navigate for anyone who has ever used the internet. The tools the Popcorn coders are creating could lead to far more interactive online experiences, not just for movies and documentaries but for all videos. Want to make a cat video replete with recent updates from Fluffy’s Facebook page and all the latest tweets tagged #cats? There could soon be an app for that.
If creating videos with Popcorn (the authoring tool is cheekily called Popcorn Maker) becomes a lingua franca for video encoders everywhere, it could make video-watching and movie fandom a far less passive experience. Just imagine what would happen if a crowdsourced film like Life in a Day got the Nico Nico Douga treatment. And finding creative ways to use new tools is, after all, what the web excels at.
Fast Company:”the future of online video”
Popcorn.js Lets Web Filmmakers Fuse Video With Interactive Design
The open-source toolkit from Mozilla uses the power of HTML5 to let web filmmakers create innovative interactivity around their videos.
Get a taste of Popcorn in action
It’s great to see these articles showcasing examples of Popcorn in the wild. For example:
- Steve James, the acclaimed director of Hoop Dreams, brought his new documentary The Interrupters, about former gang members and ex-cons who try to stop violence in their neighborhoods. During the two-day event at Mozilla’s new digs in the Hills Bros. Coffee building, James worked with coder Rick Waldron to augment the film with links to photos, obituaries, news clips and neighborhood maps. (see it here).
- One Millionth Tower, a National Film Board documentary project, couples Popcorn with 3-D graphics generator WebGL to create a web-ready documentary that shows what would happen if the residents of a Toronto highrise were allowed to participate in re-creating their home tower.
- 18 Days in Egypt created a site that pulled in Flickr photos, newsfeeds and other data from around the web (see the 18 Days prototype from the recent Mozilla Popcorn hack day). If the filmmakers tool had been live as events were unfolding, it could have functioned as a massive media-collection tool (and can now be used to follow the events in Egypt as they continue to unfold).
- Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq, the creators and subjects of 30 Mosques, worked with Mozilla’s Bobby Richter to build a site where people can upload a video of themselves doing something related to specific themes during the holy month of Ramadan or based on challenges that they suggest. Those videos would then populate a timeline for each day of the month (see the 30 Mosques Popcorn prototype).
- And of course there’s plenty of other demos on the Popcorn web site…