The Future of Entertainment series by iQ by Intel and PSFK Labs is highlighting the latest in entertainment innovation. Over the course of 10 weeks at iq.intel.com, we are showcasing new products, services and technologies, exploring the changing face of how we consume, share and create content and getting reactions from Intel experts.
We’ve all had an idea that we’ve wanted to turn into an album, film or product, but up until as recently as 10 years ago, your options for reaching a mass market would have been limited at best with few avenues for funding or distribution. Today, however, the Internet has embraced the grassroots creator, with websites such as Etsy and Kickstarter providing both a source of funding and marketplace for amateurs to take their creative projects to fruition. According to Kickstarter, since the site’s launch in 2008, there have been $751 million pledged, resulting in 47,105 successfully funded projects.
But money alone can’t account for this recent rise in creativity. New consumer tools are helping make the creation process easier for people regardless of their skill levels, which point to a trend we are calling Intuitive Content Creation. Throughout the week, the Future of Entertainment series will be highlighting the latest platforms and technologies behind this boom to see how the act of amateur creation is becoming almost as simple as consumption.
It seems to be an accepted fact that writing ideas with an old-fashioned pen and paper breeds creativity. People work best with tactile surfaces. The problem is we no longer live in an ink and paper world, but a digital one. SpaceTop, by MIT student Jinha Lee, converges the digital and the physical, by creating a desktop that allows for both 2D and 3D interactions. So while we may be used to typing and swiping on a two-dimensional screen, SpaceTop not only enables this, but also allows us to seemingly reach into the computer to pull up documents, move windows around and breakthrough the 2D barrier.
The system consists of two cameras, a transparent desktop and a keyboard sitting behind it. Users can choose whether they want to interact with the computer as they normally would, typing on the keyboard and using a trackpad or with the enhanced 3D interface. While it is still in early stages of development, Lee sees the potential in his product not only for architects, and others who normally work with 3D modeling, but for the everyday consumer as well, giving them the opportunity to design whatever they want. Lee told the BBC, “The gap between what the designer thinks and what the computer can do is huge. If you can put your hands inside the computer and handle digital content you can express ideas more completely."
Another aspect of this trend looks at how technology can unleash a person’s creative potential, even when they lack the necessary technical skills. Imagine you’ve got a catchy melody stuck in your head, but don’t know enough about music to write the song out, that tune may be lost forever. But with the iOS app ScoreCleaner Notes, anyone can become an instant composer. Any melody that you input into the app, whether it is sung, hummed or strummed, is then analyzed and written out in musical notation, with key, tempo and time all noted.
It gives people the ability to compose their own songs without knowing how to write music. Furthermore, the end result is shareable, so you can send your song to your closest music-reading friends, who can add to composition, making way for a harmonious collaboration. The app provides simplicity for musicians who don’t want to lollygag with writing notation and is a gateway for those who have the creative capability without the technical knowledge.
While ScoreCleaner Notes is a shortcut for those seeking to write songs, TouchCast is the equivalent for those who want to produce online videos. But the iPad-only app is more than a shortcut, it is a portal to in-depth video-authoring. In video created using the Touchcast app, co-founder Erick Schonfeld calls the platform a new medium, saying, “It looks like TV but feels like the web.” The app brings web interfaces and video together, making it easier for anyone to film a YouTube-ready, professional, interactive video with embedded text, images and graphic without the need for video-editing programs or know-how.
TouchCast has an array of vApps (or widgets) that enable users to easily add webpages, social media feeds, quotes and even a polltaker. “TouchCast gives the power of a broadcast television production studio to everyone with an iPad,” writes Edo Segal, cofounder and CEO, in a post on the company's blog. He continues, “but more importantly: TouchCast allows anyone—from the blogger expressing herself through video for the first time or the YouTuber with a million views to the print journalist or the broadcast TV correspondent—to not only create stunning multi-layered video but to create and watch videos that are hyper-interactive.”
We are in the midst of a new era of creativity with content that is endlessly being produced, disseminated and shared in cyberspace with 100 hours of video are uploaded to every minute to YouTube alone. This week we will see how different companies are encouraging content creation, simplifying complex design processes to make creation an easier, more intuitive endeavour. Stay tuned to iQ by Intel and PSFK for daily updates on this week’s trend Intuitive Content Creation.
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