Immersive Augmented Experience: a Technology and Industry Perspective

10 September 2014

Insatiable demand from consumers who are ready for the next level of entertainment experiences has triggered a flurry of innovation from the entire community of interest that makes up the media and entertainment technology sector. These technological innovations are significantly improving image fidelity and quality to provide consumers with a more immersive augmented experience in theaters, living rooms, mobile devices and beyond.

However, in order for the full potential of these new digital life experiences to be delivered in a timely manner, there will have to be more and better collaboration among all of the key players in the value-chain of content creation to consumption.

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Insatiable demand from consumers who are ready for the next level of entertainment experiences has triggered a flurry of innovation from the entire community of interest that makes up the media and entertainment technology sector. These technological innovations are significantly improving image fidelity and quality to provide consumers with a more immersive augmented experience in theaters, living rooms, mobile devices and beyond.

However, in order for the full potential of these new digital life experiences to be delivered in a timely manner, there will have to be more and better collaboration among all of the key players in the value-chain of content creation to consumption.

Today a series of largely stove-piped activities are progressing at different rates of speed through standards bodies and product development initiatives. The absence of go-to- market synchronization may place unnecessary limits on the opportunities that can be harvested – and perhaps more importantly – on the richness of experience that consumers expect…and deserve.

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Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the relationship between 4K/UHD technologies being brought to market in the next generation of high-end television-sets, and the current status of High Dynamic Range/Wide Color Gamut (HDR/WCG) standards and product offerings.

  • Most industry participants and observers readily acknowledge that the deployment of 4K technology will markedly improve the entertainment experience.
  • Those same experts recognize that 4K/UHD will be dependent on innovative technologies that will accelerate the deployment of high-quality UHD experiences for home or mobile environments.

When 4K/UHD is combined with High Dynamic Range/Wide Color Gamut the visual experience is eye-poppingly evident, even when viewed on the smaller form factors. The best way to understand 4K/UHD is as the foundational innovation for a more immersive augmented experience that will carry many of the other key technologies that are in development today.

Beyond the significant improvements in technological performance for delivering a visual experience, there are the issues of:

  1. consumer convenience, and
  2. protection of existing assets across the entire value-chain.

While early adopters may expect to make some sacrifices associated with being pioneers, most consumers would like the security of knowing that content is available to them on the new generation of technologies, and that their new investments can enhance their existing inventory of purchased content.

A coordinated approach to market that respects a standards development process that moves forward with diligence and discipline – without unnecessary delay – can optimize and protect both the providers and consumers of new enhanced experiences.

In this overview, we outline some of the opportunities – as well as the challenges – that will affect different segments of the entertainment and media technology sectors.

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