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Disney researchers use encoded audio signals to provide 'second screen' experiences at most venues
Date:7/19/2013

Providing a "second screen" experience for audiences at movie theaters, stadiums and other public venues need not require a special wireless infrastructure. Instead, a system developed by Disney Research, Zrich, uses the venue's regular sound system to transmit text, games or other information to smartphones using only an audio signal.

The smartphones carried by many audience members provide not only a means for viewing content that supplements a movie or sporting event, but comprise an ad hoc microphone network that helps transmit the content among all of the participants in the venue.

"Using a tablet or smartphone to interact with content while watching a TV show or a football game at home has become second nature to many people," said Stefan Mangold, a senior research scientist at Disney Research, Zrich. "Our multi-channel acoustic data transmission system makes it possible to provide the same experience in virtually any location around the world."

Mangold and his collaborators, Roman Frigg and Thomas R. Gross of ETH Zrich, will discuss and demonstrate their system during the Mobile Workshop at SIGGRAPH 2013, the International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, July 21-25 in Anaheim, Calif.

In this system, supplemental content is encoded within a movie soundtrack, music or other audio programming typical of a public venue. Groups of connected smartphones serve as a microphone network, receiving the encoded messages and sharing them with each other using their built-in Wi-Fi connections. One of the phones then decodes the messages and shares them with the rest of the network. The encoded messages are not noticeable to people and do not bother those who choose not to use a companion device. No additional loudspeakers are necessary and normal volumes can be maintained. Audience members can choose whether to connect their smartphones into the network.

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Contact: Jennifer Liu
jennifer.c.liu@disney.com
818-905-9905
Disney Research
Source:Eurekalert

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