Piracy technology to revolutionise market research in cinema

November 1, 2010, University of the West of England
Piracy technology to revolutionise market research in cinema

Experts from the University of the West of England, UK, are teaming up with Aralia Systems Ltd, a specialist security company, to take cinema piracy detection technology forward and develop software systems that will revolutionise market research data collection techniques.

Aralia Systems Ltd has been awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with UWE's Machine Vision Lab (MVL) worth in excess of £215K to build new capabilities into tracking instruments. The project is supported by a grant of £118K from the Technology Strategy Board and the EPSRC.

Leading the project is the Machine Vision Lab's Dr Abdul Farooq, an expert in instrumentation. He explains, “We plan to build on the capabilities of current technology used in cinemas to detect criminals making pirate copies of films with video cameras.

“We want to devise instruments that will be capable of collecting data that can be used by cinemas to monitor audience reactions to films and adverts and also to gather data about attention and audience movement.

“Using 2D and 3D imaging technology we aim to do this in two ways. Obviously audiences are spread out in large theatre settings so we need to build instruments that can capture data for different purposes. We will use 2D cameras to detect emotion but will also collect movement data through a 3D data measurement that will capture the audience as a whole as a texture.

“Within the cinema industry this tool will feed powerful marketing data that will inform film directors, cinema advertisers and cinemas with useful data about what audiences enjoy and what adverts capture the most attention. By measuring emotion and movement film companies and cinema advertising agencies can learn so much from their audiences that will help to inform creativity and strategy.

“It is envisaged that once the technology has been fine tuned it could be used by market researchers in all kinds of settings, including monitoring reactions to shop window displays."

The partners are currently recruiting a graduate Computer Scientist who will work on the project for its three-year duration.

Professor Melvyn Smith, Director of the Machine Vision Lab, said, “This is one of the largest KTPs that UWE is currently involved with. We have already established a good partnership with Aralia and this builds on previous work and is in addition to a jointly funded PhD due to start January 2011. Aralia and MVL have previously collaborated in the area of scene analysis, object recognition and content management, aimed at improving techniques for extracting and differentiating object features from video sequences (e.g. CCTV footage).”

With more than 15 years in the image processing field, Aralia has built up a strong portfolio of intelligent surveillance and video analytics. Key installations include intelligent solutions in city centres and public transportation networks. With a core strength in collecting and cataloguing data, Aralia is keen to expand its technology in the entertainment and marketing industries.

Aralia has an existing partnership with Pikaia Systems Ltd, a Canadian company who will be responsible for marketing and deploying the final product. Pikaia holds several pending infrared illumination patents that facilitate accurate camera detection and will work in conjunction with both Aralia Systems and UWE on this innovative new technology.

Professor Steve West, UWE Vice-Chancellor said, “The partnership between UWE's world class Machine Vision Lab and Aralia Systems Ltd is an excellent illustration of the applied research that the University is becoming well known for. It is a source of continuing amazement to me that machine vision can be used for so many applications—from health instruments to detect cancer to face recognition systems to non-invasive respiratory tools. The MVL has brought in very significant funding to UWE and has established a number of projects in the U.S. The team now look set to branch out globally following recent presentations at a top level technology conference in Brussels and a successful collaborative conference in India.”

Explore further: Software sniffs out criminals by the shape of their nose

More information: For more detail on the variety of current work by UWE's Machine Vision Lab see www.uwe.ac.uk/cems/research/groups/mvl/index.shtml

Related Stories

Software sniffs out criminals by the shape of their nose

March 2, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Forget iris and fingerprint scans - scanning noses could be a quicker and easier way to verify a person's identity, according to scientists from the University of the West of England and University of Bath.

No more geeky glasses to watch 3D (w/Video)

June 10, 2009

Most people’s experience with 3D involves wearing tinted glasses in a cinema. But a new technology, which does not require glasses and may enable 3DTV, is being developed by European researchers.

Cinema goes digital

August 29, 2005

The future of cinema is digital: At the International Broadcast Convention IBC in Amsterdam (September 9 to 13, 2005), the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Network will be presenting the latest developments in the field of Digital ...

New sensor nanotechnology simplifies disease detection

October 4, 2010

Researchers at Stony Brook University have developed a new sensor nanotechnology that could revolutionize personalized medicine by making it possible to instantly detect and monitor disease by simply exhaling once into a ...

The benefits of space technology for dentists

October 13, 2010

Dentists and their patients will soon benefit from a tiny new high-resolution X-ray camera. A Swedish company has adapted an advanced technique used for miniaturising space hardware to make a visit to the dentist a little ...

Recommended for you

Finnish firm detects new Intel security flaw

January 12, 2018

A new security flaw has been found in Intel hardware which could enable hackers to access corporate laptops remotely, Finnish cybersecurity specialist F-Secure said on Friday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.