Monthly Archives: November 2011

What? KTH anually holds an event about the future of media where the students of the Media technology programme present their ideas and visions about how to meet the need and solve different problems of the near future within a specific area. This year the turn has come to look closer at the future of radio.
When? The presentations take place Friday Dec 9 from 13-16.
Where? The event will be held on KTH campus, in lecture hall F2. Click here for directions on how to get there.
Groups Please visit the project subpages in the left menu for some sneak peak on the groups and their projects!
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It is time for social media to truly become social. It is time to start talking and stop typing!

The last big invention in the field of media, the Internet, seems to revolutionize people’s lives as much as the radio did in the past. Social media as one of the aspects of online society, affected and is continuously effecting the lifestyle of a big part of socities. The idea will be to include voice in the ordinary interaction of users in Facebook (as a showcase) and to enable them communicate in a more intimate way than before. The function of audio will bring some entertaining and some integrity not to mention more user-friendliness.

No matter what kind of social media, people always choose a simple and convenient way to show themselves. Messages become shorter, pictures replace long paragraphs and now voice can take over the hassle of captioning and updating by typing. Radio is also about sharing. Sharing a good or important story, sharing the music you love and get introduced to things and subjects you didn’t know you were interested in. So how could we used this new behavior that’s been created trough social media to embrace and improve the existence and the experience of radio?

The core idea of our project is quite simple, we want to add a new dimension to Facebook by integrating sound. But the outcome of that new dimension can be quite complicated. We don’t know what Facebook will look like in the future. It might turn into an operating system or maybe it would not continue as the social media conglomerate anymore. This is beyond the scope of our project to look into it, but we will use the look and feel of Facebook today to explain our vision.

Features

The idea consists of multiple features with different magnitudes of visibilities and apparently the ability to set different sets of privacy for different features.

Shared broadcast

This feature will give users the ability users create their own content, which can be called as a personal podcast, right in Facebook, upload it and set the privacy to limit the listeners. This can be implemented into another form too. Every user could set up a station, which is linked to one of the online radio stations, or music services. The application will show who is listening to what. So the friends can listen to the same content via the user’s station. The station owner can fade-down the broadcast, comment on it and turn it up again, while other friends can comment back after his comment.

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Progress report #1

Howdy! :)
Pay for performance, our initial project name that has steered our way through this process. What happened? We have changed direction in a way, but the importance of “Pay for performance” is what got us here so we value the term.

In the early days of our project we found an interest in games. Radio was already in our blood-stream and inspired us to combine these two fields. Interaction and user contribution is key factors and is possible to implement in these dimensions

So now we are currently mending our presentation. It will be a multi mediated presentation. Our idea is based on user generated radio commenting in games. This will give everyone a chance to be a commentator and good quality will of course be rewarded in either money or appreciation.

We have worked with interviews and brainstorming sessions with the focus on pay for performance. The live factor is a big part of the experience and this is also a big part gaming. Radio commenting will not work in every game but the forms of implementing it is rather simple.

After the midterm critique we got more focused and came up with an assembled idea that we will use for the final presentation. Before the critique the outcome was a wide thought.

See you there!

 

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Just a thought!

Today is today and public service is tomorrow

Posted in Bringing Public Service to the Car | 1 Comment

Soul – Just a tap away!

We decided to change the name of the product to Soul, which we feel is a better representation of the functionality and idea. The name relates to the spiritual soul which is a representation of you that is always present. This suits our idea of having your own personal radio channel that is present and accessible everywhere.

We feel that our background to the project gives a good idea to why Soul is such a important product:

The trends when it comes to traditional broadcast radio are clear. There are less people listening and the ones that are listening spends less time listening to it. What instead is increasing are other forms of audio consumption such as streaming and podcast. Podcasts used to be something that mainly early adopters consume but its far more popular than that now and its now consumed by a lot of people. In 2010 45 % of the U.S. population had listened to podcasts and that number is increasing steadily (Edison Research, 2010). In Sweden 4.6 % of the population are listening to  web radio on an average day according to SIFO. This is a increase of about 25 % from the year before(TNS SIFO. 2011). It is clear that web radio and podcasts is increasing in popularity and that it will continue to. The great thing about this is that everyone has access to a vast amount of content from all over the world. Something that was not possible when we only had the traditional broadcast radio.The problem is that its very difficult to listen to a podcast on one device and then switch to another device. Say that you for example are listening to a podcast on your computer but want to continue to listen from your phone, there is no easy way to do that.  One of the benefits of the traditional radio is that you could turn on the same channel anywhere if you want to continue to listen to on a new device. Podcast and other Internet based content are more linked to the device that you started to listen on, since you can not transfer what you are listening to onto a new devices in a simple way. It is also very difficult to find the most interesting audio for you in this vast amount of content that is available out there. This opportunity that Internet has brought us has made it impossible to overview all the content. We need a way to bring the simplicity of broadcast radio back to the users and at the same time make the most of all the content that is available out there.

 

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Project Plan

On the premises of media convergence, basically unlimited media access and the ever growing cloud services like last.fm or Grooveshark radio start to make a lot of sense. Not only do you not have to actively engage in choosing your media (as music is algorithmically chosen for you based on earlier preferences), it’s also (theoretically) accessible from any device, which opens for a lot of possible expansions of the concept touching on broadcast radio.

With users having access to almost infinite amount of content, services like this become more and more necessary, as a way to navigate and find content (in this case audio) that you appreciate. With a tag system for artists and songs, and a smart algorithm mapping these, many exciting ways of getting output from audio pool seem possible. From our own ideas and based on the lecture of Claire Wardle, this platform also seem to provide good entrances for social networking, and providing ways for users to engage in each others (chosen) content and capitalize on their skills of combining and mixing it as well as creating their own content.

Here we talk of audio, and it is conscious decision. We feel that radio is a vague term, since it’s just either broadcasted audio or audio-on-demand. A service that stradles these two, with all kinds of audio content (podcasts, music, maybe even audio books), and with ways to choose what mix of content is provided (“modes”).

Since the goal of the project is to be presented at a conference we intend to design and evaluate prototypes of this system. These prototypes will primarily be intended as a demonstration of the user interaction aspects of the system. The prototype will be a sort of showcase for some of the more interesting features of the AudioPool concept.

A big part of this project will be to define and develop the concept of the listening mode. As this idea is very central to the AudioPool this will likely be one of the main things to evaluate by prototyping. How could this be implemented in the user-interface and what theories or technologies of information management could be applied.

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Project Plan

Project idea
Our main idea is basically to make a niched school radioshow/podcast about different subjects at the university, where local KTH “profiles” (mainly lecturers) are invited to participate and elaborate about their favorite subject. The character of the show would be of a documentary type but with a talkative entertaining twist, something like a mix between “P3 Dokumentär” and “Sommarpratarna i P1”. The target group of this show is students who are about to start, or has already started, to study a particular subject. By listening to the show students would get a fast and easy digestible content served in a entertaining way and hopefully be inspired to study the subject even further. Subjects that are extremely theoretical and hard to grasp or get a hold on, such as math or physics, could be emphasised to ease the understanding of the bigger picture. An important aspect though, is to make the podcast focus on a specific subject and to mediate why the particular subject is interesting, rather than propagate why a specific course is worth studying.

Long-term wise we hope that this new way of letting people/students explore university subjects from within the head of a lecturer will be applied on additional subjects, perhaps even for every subject available at KTH. These podcasts could accompany the existing course description to let the student get a broader perspective and motivate the student to further studies. All podcasts could also be available together at a single place on KTH:s website, especially for people just interested in a subject rather than a specific course.

Implementation
We intend to interview a lecturer at KTH and let him/her elaborate about his/hers favorite subject. The interview will then be edited and compiled into a 10-15 minutes long podcast. The podcast will then be available to people/students wanting to get an insight into the subject from the lecturers point of view. Hopefully we will be able to test this concept on a course commencing this period and then let the students evaluate both the podcast itself but also the concept.

The presentation
At the final presentation we intend to introduce our concept and play some audio clips from some of the podcasts, as well as display some mock-ups from the course sites. We will also present the evaluation of the concept made by the students.

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Project Plan

The main concept of public service is to provide content for the public, for everyone, and this is also what our research question will be about. We will look at public service in Sweden and the work will therefore be based on the role of SR today, and what it could be in the future. Since we believe that SR is not among the leading companies when it comes to developing technical platforms, our focus will not be on technical solutions or how people listen to public service. It will rather be on what people listen to and why, and further what the product portfolio can look like to satisfy/attract many different target groups.

Research question:
What can the product portfolio of SR look like in the future to satisfy/attract as many target groups as possible?

Questions to be answered:
– What does the product portfolio of SR look like today?
– What purpose does public service content fulfill? Is it different depending on the target group? Satisfaction or attraction?
– How does different content satisfy/attract different target groups?
– How does SR reach several different target groups today?
– Which external factors affects the content of SR? For example political decisions, social trends
– What internal factors affects the content of SR? For example economic strength, ability to produce great content and attract good content providers

Implementation:
– Interviews with people on SR that understand the users and work close to target groups, product development and new concepts
– SWOT and STEEP analysis with focus on how the content will be affected
– Describing and specifying a future scenario for the presentation
– Creative work for the presentation, putting together for example a poster, video, radio show, images

Posted in Bringing Public Service to the Car | Leave a comment

Project Plan

Background
During dire straits information is of great essence. Both receiving information about what is causing the crisis, and communicating to the outside world how one’s situation is developing is of essence. What if the power grid goes down? What if all mobile communications goes down? In the future we won’t have set-top receivers for radio or TV. However, we will have some kind of radio receiver in our mobile devices.

Our scenario for our project:
Internet works as it does today, although it is faster and reaches further over the land
We are dependent on electricity even more than today
People do not have set-top radios in their homes
Digital radio is broadcasted and listened to through mobile devices. Both live and on-demand
Our mobile devices are even more advanced and “smart” than they are today
Better batteries (longer up-time)

Problem
Previously, radio played a big role in the dispersion of information during times of crisis. What role will radio play in the future?

Method
Interviews with experts in the crisis area and radio communication: Henrik Olinder, SR, Smittskyddsinstitutet, Försvarsmakten, social media activists during the Arabic Spring
Literature study; previous studies in communication during crisis
Study the use of social media during crisis

Presentation
Video
Some kind of live performance
Fun!

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Project Plan

Background:
Social media and user generated content gets bigger and bigger. There are indications that traditional media wants to integrate the interactive potential of these new mediums to adapt to the new media landscape. Swedish radio has already begun investigating what change is needed presented in Journalism 3.0. As we have seen recently with terror attacks in Norway and revolutions in the Middle East, social media channels are becoming more and more important information channels, especially when dealing with governments exercising censorship. We therefore believe that monitoring the Internet for information will become even more important in the future.

Problem (problem area):
How can Internet content of journalistic value be found, processed and incorporated into the radio medium?
- Considering the Internet as a geographic region, can the regular journalistic process from foreign correspondents be applied (and modified), and can it be divided into subregions?
- What tools and competencies are required?
- How will the process and presentation differ between areas of political-, music- niche- and overall news journalism?
- How can radio manage to keep the brand identity of reliability (SR) when introducing this new concept?

Suggestion/idea:
Web correspondents working full time with monitoring (through social media monitoring tools) and sorting online information for the radio shows. This scenario treats the Internet as a geographic region to monitor and report on. However, the Internet is divided into subregions of:

World news (monitoring Twitter etc. for events such as earthquakes etc)
Local news (geotagged Twitter and Facebook updates lets the radio show report on the latest news for a specific location)
Niche content (contacting bloggers with niche expertise to co-produce radio shows, or browse the web for the latest niche news)
“Mainstream” music and entertainment (monitoring YouTube for new artists and music, exploring different genres, latest gossip about artists etc, current trends)
Live webstreaming (could be traditional video streams or other types of live streaming information, perhaps related to online gaming)

We will also look into the implementation process of this new concept.

Method:
We’ll start by doing a literature study mainly based on Internet resources because of the young nature of this focus area. We will also look into already existing social media monitoring tools before we start to sketch on solutions.

Presentation:
We’re planning on producing a “fake” radio show, portraying our idea about the future in radio journalism along with images of our concept.

Posted in Bringing the Internet to Radio | Leave a comment

Project Plan

Background
The exploitation of radio over social media has not been done yet. One of the ways to boost the use and coverage of radio, expanding its reach and facilitate listening to radio while wandering in social networking sites would be to make a platform in which the synergy between radio and social networks can be realized. This exposes radio stations more than before and might help users to change their listening habit.

The project
This project has come to be about how to integrate the radio into the social networking site Facebook. Facebook is now one of the world’s largest and most frequently used social media with it’s 800 million users. This can of course come and change over the next 10-20 years. It is therefore important to look at our project as an example with Facebook as a basis.

The idea
One of the problems with radio is to promote your show. It’s pretty much about luck how people would find your show or not. Facebook have a very strong “word of mouth” impact on it’s users. Therefor would be a great tool for promoting your radio show. Whether you are a professional radio profile or just a radio amateur who just wants to be heard.

Our idea is to make a widget where you can broadcast yourself over Facebook. Using live streaming or podcast. As all other media forms on Facebook, it will be possible to “like”, share and comment on these radio shows, which will make a great spread. With the integration between Facebook and Spotify it would also be possible to play music in your show. There will be all kinds of different use for this widget. For example you can use it to tell story surrounding your uploaded photos.

Our goal is to show how this widget will be used in 10-20 years.

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Project Plan

Thesis: To make kidz/teenz listen to radio in the future.

We want to find out more about radio listening habits of young people, aged 16-20 years, to be able to develop program concepts that these youngsters will find attractive.

Definition of radio: Content in some way distributed to a listener, the content is mainly, but not limited to, the form of audio. Extra material could be pictures or text.

Definition of future: 10 years from now.

Background:
How can radio find reliable future scenarios? Scenarios that can help them finding usable strategies for the future? We believe that technical development is pushed forward by individuals and trends in the society. To find possible future scenarios we will look into young people’s habits, attitudes and expectations. When we know what is perceived as attractive and usable, as well as what fits into the life style, we can start to develop products and services that fits into that lifestyle.

Problem (problem area):
“How can we make young people listen to radio in the future?” To study that question more closely we decided we have to break it down further into a new set of detailed questions about the listening habits of young people. How do young people listen to radio? When do they listen? Where do they listen? What device (cell phone, computer, other) do they use to listen? Do they listen alone or together with others? What content do they listen to? These questions are quite general, but they will hopefully give us a grasp of the listening situation as a whole. The understanding of the listening situation will be our starting point when we try to come up with well fitting innovative concepts that will make the target group want to listen to and be involved with radio.

Methods:
Interviews with people who work with radio aimed at our target group and people from our target group. Interviews are quite time consuming but give possibilities for in depth discussions about attitudes and concepts.

Suggestions for people to interview: Someone working with radio for youth. Some young people. It could also be interesting to talk to somebody who does trend analysis concerning young people and media usage.

After collecting this material and analyzing it we will develop 5-10 radio (station/program) concepts that we will evaluate in focus groups with our target audience.

Focus groups with young people where we will present 5-10 radio concepts. The participants will be encouraged to answer questions about the concepts, rate and discuss them.

Finding suitable participants for focus groups is usually a challenge. One way, maybe the easiest one, is to pick younger persons from our own contact networks. However we are a little bit concerned that those participants will not represent the target group as a whole. To get a more representative selection of participants we think that recruiting in schools or youth centers could be good alternatives. That will require a little extra work since we then will need permission from the school and/or youth center.

Based on the evaluation in the focus groups we will decide on what concepts to keep and refine into the product we will present at the final presentation.

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Project Plan

Background:

In recent years we have seen a trend with context based information involving GPS based localization, and “likes” that can be used to decide what information is more likely presented to the user. Also, the portability of information technology devices is an important trend; people can get access to content/information wherever they are, but they can also create content/information wherever they are. We have also seen that content and information is being more organized and structured; this is made possible by search engines and other services. Furthermore, tagging content has become usual, which makes it possible for users to index content. We believe that context can be used for presenting the right information to the user, which in the case of radio is audio.

Problem(problem area):

How can the most relevant content be presented to the user with as little effort as possibe from the user? How can we aquire the proper information from the user? How can we generate content from that information?

Suggestion/idea:

Based on trends mentioned in the background we will create a concept for future audio consumption. We imagine that the information is acquired from the users’ current situation. Examples: sound, pulse, location etc. This information can be used to present the right content to the users.

Method:

We will:

-Create a brief state of art analysis on our problem domain.
-Make an overall plan for the design process of the concept.
-Use different user situations to develop our concept.

Presentation:

We will vizualize the concept by showing different user scenarios, presented in a video.

Posted in Personalized radio | Leave a comment

Project Plan

Imagine that you have your own personal radio channel and its always present. Your personal radio concists of an AI that gets to know you, and the more you interact with it the better it knows your taste. The user can choose to interact with either a voice or an interface, its all up to you. The best thing is that it is a new standard that all developers can use. This means that you can have it on your computer, phone, TV, in your car and of course in your stereo. You dont even have to sign in because you can with just one single action decide what unit that you want your personal radio to start playing on. By physically tapping on a device you choose which one you want to use. Say that you for example like to listen to a specific podcast, the AI can remind you that this weeks podcast is out and it can also tell you if there are other podcast that you probably will like. You can also tell it to make a jog playlist if you are planning to go for a jog, this can be done because the AI knows exactly which kind of music you would like to hear. That´s because it knows your taste and what you like to listen to while training. The AI can in a similar way choose different kinds of music for other moments and activities. It adapts the music depending on what you do and what you like. All you need to do is tell it what kind of activity you want it for or what preferences you have regarding music. For example, you might want to listen to music that suits your mood of the day.

We would like to present a scenario to explain our idea further more:
You are sitting in a rented car heading to work and you have tapped it’s radio so that your personal radio is playing on it. You are listening to your playlist that you have created at home, but you find your own music boring. Therefore you ask it to play something that you should like but haven’t heard before. When you get closer to the city you suddenly get stuck in traffic and you ask it to play the latest traffic news from the area, and after that you ask it to play the latest news. The AI of course knows exactly which news you like, so it only plays that. After hearing the news you want to listen to your favourite podcast. The device knows that the latest episode is out and starts playing it at your command. Before finishing the podcast you arrive with your car at the office. You tap your phone against the car’s radio and continue to listen to the podcast as you take the elevator to the top floor of the building. When sitting down at your desk you obviously want to finish listening and you simply tap you computer and the podcast seamlessly starts playing on your computer speakers. With your personal radio channel you’re always ready for another day of work.

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Project Plan

Project idea

As in our group, when it comes to choosing appropriate economic models, we decided we could either try to adjust the present models in order to accommodate changing markets – or we can decide to map about a lush variety of dramatically different future scenarios and the economic models that could sustain within these futuristic ideas.

In order to pursue our main idea, it entails having contact with various other groups in order to paint a vast range of possible futuristic outcomes and use these scenarios to tailor them to the business model canvas. Once the mapping out has been done we will try to illustrate the development of radio from an economic perspective. Naturally some of the solutions will be a contrast of the dream vs. the nightmare scenario.

We will entail everything from how to sustain/increase revenue streams to what models will falter or fail.

Other questions

What is the likelihood of some of these business models killing radio or changing radio, as we know it? How big a part will advertising have on future revenues? Will product placement invade radio? Radio aggregation amplifying local radio?

Implementation

The business canvas and various economic models will be used as the foundation of our project. The approach we have chosen to pursue is contacting different groups to outline their work so that economic perspectives can be related to all of them (or of the selected few). There will be a lot of creative work for the final presentation.

The presentation

The ideas will be presented in a bold manner, and we will use various form of graphic illustrations to present our solutions. We have decided to present our results in the form of a film or video sequence so as to give the spectator insight to our findings.

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Project Plan

Project Idea

In order to pay for performance in terms of radio, we feel that radio has to adapt. We believe it will exist in the future, but perhaps in a new form. Therefore we believe in a symbiotic relationship between games and radio. The reasoning behind this is that online games has been on the march for quite some time, but in some of them there’s either required a competitive edge or the methods of immersion becomes more and more sophisticated (And it is not uncommon that games require both these aspects).

We believe in implementing radio in games as a way of saving radio as an entertainment- and information medium while greatly enhancing the gaming experience. This might be in the form of information-broadcasts concerning game-results or information regarding lifestyles in the gameworld.

Salvation of radio

What we mean with this as a potential salvation of radio is that as it stands right now radio might die. There has been quite some talk about radio being “butchered” into tinier podcasts as a current development, but if our idea takes hold, it might be a way to collect all relevant information in one channel.

Profit

There are quite some ways to make a profit through this idea. The question is if it stops with the purchase of the game, or if the radio-station is something maintained outside the game-system. Is the radio a digital object acquired in the game world or do you need a functional radio in the real world to access the information presented there?

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