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XIMPEL - 10 Years of Immersive Media Experiences

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The past ten years, online video has transformed from a mere novelty to one of the most popular pastimes on the internet. While online video platforms, such as YouTube, provide countless possibilities to disseminate traditional video, they lack options to create deep, interactive and immersive experiences.

To provide this immersion, we initiated XIMPEL, the eXtensible Interactive Media Player for Entertainment and Learning. Using XIMPEL, users can construct highly interactive narratives involving video, images, text and other media elements. Unlike various short-lived tools which have abruptly appeared and disappeared, XIMPEL has stood the test of time: it now exists ten years. Through constant development, it has evolved along with continuous changes in the online environment and infrastructure.

During the ten years of its existence, XIMPEL has been utilized in a wide variety of settings, for projects involving interactive media, between storytelling and gameplay, at the VU University Amsterdam’s Faculty of Sciences, by first year students as well as advanced master students. Projects ranging from interactive detective stories, campaigns against noise, guided tours, and educational games, on topics such as mathematics and environmental awareness. XIMPEL's declarative XML format proved to be an efficient and flexible tool for developing applications, not only for computer science and information technology students but also for students from cognitive psychology and the humanities. The XIMPEL framework has also been applied in professional settings, for instance assessment training, and for exhibitions at the University of Oslo’s Science Library.

Our presentation provided a perspective on the evolution and usage of the XIMPEL framework during the past ten years. We also shed light on how XIMPEL may be used to enable new ways to disseminate, present and publish video-based research. Finally, we to discussed the value of enhanced interactivity and transparency in disseminating video-based research online.

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XIMPEL - 10 Years of Immersive Media Experiences

  1. 1. XIMPEL 10 Years of Immersive Media Experiences Hugo Huurdeman, Winoe Bhikharie, Anton Eliëns University of Oslo, VU University Amsterdam ximpel.net / bit.ly/VisualNavigationProject Presentation at Big Video Sprint conference, Aalborg, Nov. 2017
  2. 2. •The past ten years, online video has transformed from a mere novelty to one of the most popular pastimes on the internet. •While online video platforms, such as YouTube, provide countless possibilities to disseminate traditional video, they lack options to create deep, interactive and immersive experiences.
  3. 3. XIMPEL • Using XIMPEL, an open media platform*, you can weave together video, audio, images and other media • thus constructing highly interactive narratives • * (based on HTML5 & XML)
  4. 4. Versatility • The versatility of XIMPEL is exemplified by the wide variety of its use in the past ten years, including • online interactive media applications • multimedia education, and • interactive exhibitions involving large touch screens.
  5. 5. The journey • This presentation will take you on a journey along 10 years of XIMPEL
  6. 6. Once upon a time...
  7. 7. The journey • This presentation will take you on a journey along 10 years of XIMPEL • Discussing seven key characteristics of the framework
  8. 8. 1. Immersion • No distractions • Immersive environments (using video, machinima, etc) • Who do you Trust? (2016) • Treasure Hunting Pyramid Castle Island Fairytale (2016) • Seamless branching
  9. 9. •“Poor man’s immersion” [Eliëns et al 2007] • deploying the immersive realism of video, based on conventions of storytelling and film editing • (substitute for interactive 3D immersion)
  10. 10. 2. Choice • Offer possibilities of choice without leaving the environment • Provides sense of agency • Allows for a variety of serious (and experimental) techniques • Space Suitcase (2008) • Forest of Life (2015)
  11. 11. 3. Story graphs • Model choices and narratives • Also as an educational tool • Branch, converge, loop, etc
  12. 12. 3. Story graphs • Model choices and narratives • Also as an educational tool • Branch, converge, loop, etc • Or even randomness •50s Driving Challenge (2009)
  13. 13. 4. Multiple viewpoints • Offer a variety of viewpoints (authoring) • Explore viewpoints by following paths (playing) •Code of Conduct (2013) •Reversed Cluedo (2015)
  14. 14. 5. Reflection & Feedback • Allow for viewer reflection by showing followed paths • Utilize custom score variables • “Between narrative(s) and gameplay” [EliensEtAl2008] • Show custom materials b/o choices • Offer feedback • Climate Profiler (2007-2009)
  15. 15. 6. Declarative format • Something “in-between” pure design & pure coding • Create XML playlists • Specify what, but not how • (assistive tools)
  16. 16. 6. Declarative format • Something “in-between” pure design & pure coding • Create XML playlists • Specify what, but not how • (assistive tools)
  17. 17. 7. eXtensible • Add new modules (media types) for whichever functionality you are interested in (Javascript) • Some examples include: • Minigames, maps, .. • touch-based book viewer, visualizations
  18. 18. Mikaela Aamodt | Dan Michael Heggø | Hugo Huurdeman | Helge Mjelde | Live Rasmussen | Heidi Rustad | Kyrre Låberg | Nina Thodesen Visual Navigation Project University of Oslo Library bit.ly/VisualNavigationProject Project Outline & Progress
  19. 19. rethink how users can explore & interact 
 with library materials
 in the digital and physical library space Visual Navigation Project
  20. 20. bit.ly/VisualNavigationVideo
  21. 21. Large video collection - 100 (streamed) events per year Cross-links with collection, topic experts, researchers, etc How to connect and visualize in sensible ways?
  22. 22. Mikaela Aamodt | Dan Michael Heggø | Hugo Huurdeman | Helge Mjelde | Live Rasmussen | Heidi Rustad | Kyrre Låberg | Nina Thodesen Visual Navigation Project University of Oslo Library bit.ly/VisualNavigationProject Project Outline & Progress
  23. 23. XIMPEL 10 years - Why? •Power of the “empty canvas” •you can add interactivity, but you don’t have to … •you can add multiple storylines, but you don’t have to … •you can add annotations, but you don’t have to … •you can add custom media types, but you don’t have to … •you can add gaming elements, but you don’t have to …
  24. 24. XIMPEL 10 years - How? •Simplicity - (relatively) easy to maintain •Declarative (XML) format •Extendable & open-source •Contributions by aficionados & students
  25. 25. XIMPEL in the next 10 years • Further extend interaction modalities • eye tracking, … • Extend feedback • textual and graphical • Profiling methods • statistics-based recom- mendation of choices • Simultaneous interactions • Further develop MOOC features • New media types • 360 degrees, etcetera :)
  26. 26. Role in video-based research dissemination • XIMPEL could serve as a way to: • enhance interactivity and transparency in illustrating and disseminating video-based research online • export video and annotations (from analysis tools) • use as “display resource” •visualize (multistream) video & annotations (using templates) • alternative for “immersive” viewing experience? • e.g. large touch screens (touch, swipe, pinch)
  27. 27. Role in video-based research dissemination
  28. 28. • e.g., as a display resource ( model from Pea & Hoffert ’07 ) Role in video-based research dissemination
  29. 29. Role in video-based research dissemination • XIMPEL could serve as a way to: • enhance interactivity and transparency in illustrating and disseminating video-based research online • export video and annotations (from analysis tools) • use as “display resource” •visualize (multistream) video & annotations (using templates) • alternative for “immersive” viewing experience? • e.g. large touch screens (touch, swipe, pinch) challenge-
 any datasets & annotations we 
 can test?
  30. 30. ..big thanks! • XIMPEL.net • Winoe Bhikharie, Marek van de Watering, prof. Anton Eliëns • All contributors, incl. Melvin Roest • University of Oslo Library: • All colleagues & collaborating students & study participants • & organizers BigVideo conference congress!
  31. 31. XIMPEL 10 Years of Immersive Media Experiences Hugo Huurdeman, Winoe Bhikharie, Anton Eliëns University of Oslo, VU University Amsterdam ximpel.net / bit.ly/VisualNavigationProject Presentation at Big Video Sprint conference, Aalborg, Nov. 2017

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