IBC’s acclaimed Accelerator Media Innovation Programme is underway with a new 2022 cycle following the first round, a series of seventeen diverse technology and business challenges pitched to an invitation only audience from across the media ecosystem at IBC’s ‘Kickstart Day’.
Held at the iconic Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) in London on April 7th, of the seventeen pitches, just eight projects will be selected to go forward to the next stage, developing challenge solutions that will be showcased at IBC 2022 in September, as Proof of Concepts.
“Collaborative innovation is a critical component of IBC’s Accelerator Programme, as seen by more than 120 organisations that have been involved across sixteen remarkable project challenges in 2020 and 2021,” said Mark Smith, innovation lead and advisor to IBC. “All have been highly relevant to the challenges and opportunities of disruption and transformation faced by today’s media industry, where innovation is the lifeblood of the sector.’
Themes for 2022 project pitches included: Live event-based cloud workflows, ultra-low latencies (in production encoding and for live OTT), 5G (in Live XR Events, Remote Rural Production), Next Generation News Studio, Sustainability, Content Distribution via Blockchain, Immersive Metaverse Audio, Advertising (and international OTT integration), Mixed Reality Pipelines for Live Studio Broadcast, Edge Computing for Personalised Data and Cyber/ Watermarking, among others.
At the Kickstart event, IBC also announced the winner of the 2021 Accelerator Project of the Year Award, selected from the eight project Challenges developed in 2021 by an independent panel of industry expert judges. The winner was the5G LBXR Projectwhich explored the role of 5G in Location-Based Extended Realities across multiple locations and IP formats.
The diverse 5G LBXR team focused on examining 5G’s low latency and provision of edge computing as critical aspects required for immersive, ultra-responsive interactivity and the technical feasibility of multi-user, multi-location XR gaming. The group utilised the esports market and tournament production pipelines as an ideal template for 5G use cases for XR formats, due to requirements for low latency, high bandwidth, serious computing power and fan hyper-personalisation.
The project’s final Proof of Concept solution explored this with two XR formats, using both Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and real-time avatars. The AR workstream harnessed Hado, a virtual yet hybrid dodge ball game developed to be the world’s first physical esport with a remote gameplay between two locations, between Twickenham Studios and the Vodafone Business Lounge at Coventry Building Society Arena. The second workstream focused on Nanoclash, the title VR IP at the Park Playground, which demonstrated 5G via multi-player, multi-location between Belgium and Vodafone’s 5G Hub in The Netherlands. The project was championed by Telenet/Liberty Global, Park Playground, Hado, Digital Domain, Twickenham Film Studios, Vodafone and ESL/Weavr with vendor Participants Huawei, Net Insight, Noitom, ProMod Esports and QuarkXR.
Telenet’s Arthur Lian Xiangyu, Project Lead, expressed his gratitude for the award: “We are so proud to deliver this POC using low latency high capacity 5G networks to enable XR streaming, cross location-based XR gaming, real-time esports production and avatar-hosted broadcast to audiences around the world. We were so honoured to work with this amazing team, and to be honest, deeply surprised to be able to take this trophy home as all the projects achieved great results! Many thanks to the IBC Accelerator Programme team and to everyone who followed, cared, and supported us during this run!”
The IBC Accelerator Programme was launched in 2019 and empowers companies from across the content and technology industries to identify business and technology challenges and solve them openly and collaboratively. Further challenges in 2021 included 5G & Innovation in Live Production Workflows, 5G for Remote Production in Live Sports, More Sustainable Live Productions, Ai for Bias Detection, Smart Remote Production for Real Time Animation, Immersive Audio & Sound Imagery, and RT-3D Interactive Content Creation for Real Time Distribution.
IBC’s Accelerator Kickstart Day was sponsored by Zixi.