The FascinatE website describes the concept as allowing a viewer to “Interactively view and navigate around an ultra-high resolution video panorama showing a live event, with the accompanying audio automatically changing to match the selected view.”
The service would require numerous cameras to cover an event, creating a moving panorama between them that viewers could move around at will. Sports events and concerts are two types of broadcasts that could benefit from the technology.
How would this work in practice? The project’s website gives the following example:
“Jim has returned home from his business trip to Barcelona, and decides to watch the UEFA match Ajax – Barcelona on his 60-inch LCD set. He selects the FascinateURtv service and the current match. The match has already started but it is still 0-0. Jim points his remote at the screen, ‘grabs’ a player with his remote and drags him to the top of the screen.
“After ‘releasing’ the player, the top left corner of his screen shows Thierry Henry in close up, always from the best possible camera angle. In the same manner he selects the two goals, but now he chooses to watch always from the back of the goal, to have a good view on the 16-metre area.”
In other words, this looks like it could merge live TV with the kind of control usually associated with videogames. A mobile version of the service is also being developed.
We’ll be following this one with interest. With FascinatE, the newly confirmed Project Canvas as well as well as many other developments in social TV apps underway, the future of television is most definitely interactive.