Recognise this

Advances in image capture technology open up exciting possibilities for interacting with traditional media through your smartphone

Not long ago QR codes seemed to be the stuff of the future, we simply pointed our smartphones at the monochrome geometric patterns and were directed to media or web destinations. However, they soon might be consigned to the recycle bin of history.

Image recognition technology can be used to read a storybook to a child. Simply face a smartphone at any page and give it a few seconds to recognise the image. Once identified, the device will read what’s on the page, redirect to a relevant video, or allow the user to look up words.

Already, image recognition and audio recognition software offer more engaging and interactive experiences for smartphone users. Automatic Content Recognition (ACR), which applies audiovisual search technology to content identification, will be available here very soon thanks to Intellicode Thai, a joint venture between Intellicode Korea and MCOT.

ACR can capture photographs, music or moving images and identify the content, which can help enrich users' experience when combined with contextually aware services and applications. ACR enables services, applications and connected devices _ such as smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, gaming consoles and smart TVs _ to deliver social entertainment experiences.

One example is a children's storybook. By scanning the page, an application can not only identify the book but also read what's on a page, offer a relevant video or provide definitions for the vocabulary used.

Intellicode Thai CEO Hwang Byoung-woo said the company, a partner of audiovisual search technology company Enswers Inc and TV software and solutions specialist Alticast, will deliver experiences and technology that connect people to media.

Initially, the company will set up the Enswer Audio Recognition advertising platform and Korean content portal soompi.com, providing drama and content from major South Korean broadcasting companies, for the new media business of MCOT.

Soompi is an English-language website providing coverage of Korean pop culture. It has one of the largest international internet communities for K-pop fans. More than 7.5 million people are visiting Soompi every month, and the site offers English, Spanish, Portuguese and French services.

Intellicode Korea chief operating officer Kim Kyu-yup said soompi.com is the world's No.1 provider of Korean pop-culture content in the English language. There are about 40 to 50 K-pop news items each day translated into English and, as of now, French, Spanish and Portugese.

Intellicode Thai will translate the content of soompi into Thai.

Apart from content on South Korean lifestyle and fashion, lifestyle and culture products will be sold from the Soompi Thailand shop.

Hwang said Intellicode Thai had been established in collaboration with MCOT, Intellicode Korea and Thai partners. It will create new a business with state-of-the-art IT solutions, content and digital broadcasting technologies from Korea.

This includes a Enswers Audio Recognition (EAR) solution for advertising businesses, Enswers Image Recognition (EIR) solution for advertising, and IT consulting, while the content sector mainly focuses on soompi.com for Thailand, and the digital broadcasting technologies include solutions and devices from Korean partners and digital broadcasting consulting.

In the long term, the company will introduce digital broadcasting technology, and advanced technology from South Korea will be introduced. Digital broadcasting devices will be customised for Thai standards, the CEO said.

Kim explained that the Enswers technology has the capability to detect and analyse exactly what viewers are watching on screen at any given moment.

With mobile devices, ACR technology enables second-screen entertainment applications on iOS or Android devices to sync directly to live and pre-recorded television, identify music playing on the radio, and recognise images, posters, and books _ powering a new generation of interactive mobile experiences.

EAR can capture audio from TVs and radios with mobile devices, automatically identifying content in less than three seconds, and launch detailed information on the TV content, including the title, cast, synopsis, or any promotion.

The EIR operates in the same manner with posters/signage in order to launch the relevant website, interactive advertisement, commercials, information, games, or more, synched to the identified content.

MCOT executive vice-president Kritaporn Parkpien noted that the technology provided by Intellicode Thai could replace the present QR Code as it can immediately link consumers to websites. The application can recognise books by reading what's on the page, then redirect users to a relevant video.

"This will be also a marketing tool for MCOT in the future," she said, noting that the model of advertising will be changed and mobile apps will play a critical role in this area.

By the end of this year, MCOT's new media business unit aims to generate some 400 million baht of income, of which it expects 65 million baht will come from Intellicode Thai.

"Besides the entertainment content on Soompi Thailand website, we plan to buy some franchises from Korea to do business on the web, such as Korean food or unique and limited-edition products," said Kritaporn.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Sasiwimon Boonruang
Position: Life Writer