Accessible media player

logo media 4D

July 2015 –The media4Dplayer consortium is proud to announce the start of its collaborative project: media4Dplayer, a public multimedia player, with multi-flow and multi-accessible functionalities designed for four devices: TV, desktop, tablet and smartphone.

Media4Dplayer is a French collaborative research project, supported by Cap Digital, the French business cluster for digital content and services, and co-financed by the Île-de-France region and the French Public Investment Bank (BPIfrance). This R&D project is aligned with Cap Digital’s strategy on content accessibility, digital content policy, and Silver economy. The project started in January 2015 for a duration of 18 months.

The project objectives:

The media4Dplayer project addresses the issues of media accessibility for all citizens in a connected environment. Contributing to the inclusive society, the project aims to develop a universal accessibility market, and aims to satisfy the interests of all citizens.

This social innovation project develops an open-source, multi-flow, and multi-accessible media player, designed for everyone, in particular for the seniors and the disabled, the vulnerable populations, and/or those who need to improve their fluency in French (oral/written).

The final media4Dplayer application will be developed in HTML5 and will simultaneously combine sound, visual, and interactive elements into an intuitive user interface. Consequently, this multimedia content player will be able to read and synchronize several files simultaneously, and then provide personalized services. The two key challenges of the media4Dplayer project are as follows:

  • Design, demonstrate and validate innovative navigation paths, combining universal ergonomics together with an intelligent rethinking of the interface, which should be able to give personalized answers to the user’s needs;
  • Present synchronously multiple content streams coming from different servers, to enrich the accessibility services of a given TV program.

The media4Dplayer development will be based on 4 inter-dependent work packages:

  • Ergonomics and services
  • Multimedia content, coding and synchronization
  • Integration
  • Focus groups and large-scale user tests

The last work package will test the services of the player over various focus groups, and will subsequently gather the user’s feedbacks to assess the relevance and the quality of services through several use case scenarios.

The Consortium:

The media4Dplayer consortium includes 7 project partners: two big companies, two SMEs, two academic research institutes, and one agglomeration of cities; all are supported by two SMEs as subcontractors.

Project Partners:

  • France Télévisions, group of French public TV channels, provide public services such as information, education, culture, support for audiovisual and cinematographic creation, and also for live performing arts. The department of innovation & development, whose researches focus on image and sound technologies, which allow the development of content accessibility mechanisms, leads the media4Dplayer project. For this issue, FTV is also relying on the experts in the field of media content access of its subsidiary MFP.
  • Limited company with 100% state capital, La Poste Group places the Corporate Social Responsibility at the heart of its strategy. Meet the challenges of the future, and think and act differently today, is important for the group. This is all about information sharing and collective intelligence, opt for a positive and open vision of innovation. It is about supporting and accompanying initiatives that benefit everyone; within this background the Group takes an active part in the media4Dplayer project.
  • DOTSCREEN is an agency specializing in all screens (connected TVs, tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes, connected car radios). It designs, develops and manufactures all types of applications, sites and services tailored to the screens and “general public” devices. The video player is in the heart of all applications developed by DOTSCREEN. The media4Dplayer project is in line with the values of the company, especially with regard to open technologies for all audiences, and also the fact that results will be made available in open source after the project time.
  • ATEME is a global leader in HEVC, H.264, MPEG-2 video compression solutions for broadcast, cable, DTH, IPTV and OTT. By joining the media4Dplayer project, ATEME intends to be among the precursors to offer these essential mechanisms to the development of many services on the second screen.
  • Mines-Télécom Institute is a public institution dedicated to higher education, research and innovation in the fields of engineering and digital technology. With the media4Dplayer, this project partner will bring in its expertise in visual content description (indexing, classification / learning, modeling / animation and 3D computer vision), to the specific field of adapting these contents to people with disabilities.
  • The academic laboratory Human and Artificial Cognition (CHArt) is one the partners of LUTIN laboratory. This laboratory studies natural and artificial cognitive systems, and their pragmatic and semantic interactions. The media4Dplayer will allow CHArt, as part of LUTIN, to apply its knowledge and expertise to the ergonomics of accessibility: to make ergonomic the procedures that allow accessibility; and to improve access to the ergonomics for people with special needs.
  • Plaine Commune is the most dynamic agglomeration of cities of Île-de-France (Grand Paris regions located in the north of Paris) in several areas: economic development, urban development, neighborhood renovation and culture. Creation and innovation are key elements and contribute to all business sectors. Among the ten development clusters of the Grand Paris, Plaine Commune is identified as the Territory of Culture and Creation. As such, Plaine Commune accompanies its population for digital access and usage.

Subcontractors:

  • Holken Consultants & Partners (HC) is specializing in strategic business consulting, marketing studies, and particularly interested in the changes that occur in cultural industries through ICT. HC intervene, where innovation comes to the market. The Media4Dplayer project is a direct result out of media4D (a creation of Holken Consultants), the social innovation platform that addresses media accessibility. Within the Media4Dplayer, HC intervene for dissemination activities, the Advisory Board set-up, exploitation, and the establishment of focus groups and user tests.
  • Multimedia France Productions (MFP), a subsidiary of France Télévisions, is TV captioning leader for the hearing impaired and only French laboratory to have the standardized processes ISO9001. The company places its accessibility expertise of TV programs and video content online into the media4Dplayer project. MFP will provide a selection of subtitled and audio described video programme and also its own multi-accessible MFPvideoPlayer that helps to define some features of the media4Dplayer prototype.

For more information, please contact: Hadmut Holken holken@holkenconsultants.com