Dynamic virtual communities spring from audio-visual content networks
17 November 2009
Digital audio-visual (AV) content is today a medium that is in high demand by home users, thanks to the continuous technical development of electronic devices that achieve a quality of output that was not long ago the unique preserve of professionals. The digital video camera, for example, is now an everyday reality, which in the era of social networks, has created a follow-up demand for innovative services that allow users to manage, share and distribute their AV output. The leap from traditional, text-based information exchange was brought about by instant messaging and blogging, which constitute the basis of social networking. Nowadays, the growing demand for tools to enhance the exchange of media content (particularly AV) is simply a natural development of this trend towards collaborating and sharing and with others via telecommunications technology –first came text, now we complement it with photos and video streaming – which constitutes a defining factor of contemporary society, expressed most forcefully as a pervasive and ever increasing need to be here, now, with others, available, ready: in touch with the dynamic virtual community.
CONTENT Network of Excellence (NoE) is a European Research Network coordinated by Prof. Dr. Arturo Azcorra from University Carlos III of Madrid, recently appointed Director General for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurial Development at the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, and Director (on leave) of IMDEA Networks. CONTENT NoE has recently concluded a three year joint research effort in the field of telecommunications, targeted to the advancement of state of the art Content Delivery Networks for Home Users, which constitute an integral part of Networked Audio-Visual Systems and Home Platforms. The overall goal has been the integration of a vast community of researchers aiming to boost the availability of new technologies and models for low-cost, pervasive audio-visual content conservation and distribution, with particular emphasis on the reinforcement of European networking communities. Thinking of tomorrow, CONTENT NoE has focused on the dissemination of excellence as a primary scientific objective, on the basis that research of new technologies that allow different levels of communication contributes to the emergence of new communication styles and language patterns. A key factor of scientific development in the field of telecommunications is its central impact on the multiplication of human/societal/communicative ways of being in the world.
The R&D work carried out by CONTENT NoE members has laid the foundation for the first generation of Autonomic Content Networks, covering around 30 joint tasks related to content networking, overlay networking, and content services. CONTENT NoE can be best described as a community of scientists working together in an environment that fosters the integration of research trends and outputs, in a manner that epitomizes the very subject and object of their work, that is, to enable and enhance European Community Networking at all user levels. CONTENT NoE has made the education and training of young researchers key to further develop the European Research Area through collaboration and it has established the basis for a sustained increase of European leadership in the development of a key aspect of Information society technologies: content networks.
Amongst the partners of this Network of excellence were representatives from major European universities, such as University Carlos III of Madrid, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Technische Universität Darmstadt and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. The private sector was represented by associates such as Telefonica Research Barcelona, Philips Research, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Research Center and Google Switzerland GmbH amongst others.