A Trip to the Future At BVE

In our constant search to jump in to a future world of teleportation and jet packs, Synaptic Digital recently visited the broadcast video exhibition (BVE) in London. The capabilities of video technology are slowly catching up with the arty minds of producer/directors globally. There were a few major breakthroughs we noticed with our corporate hats on – first and foremost – second screen technology.

What is second screen technology, you ask? Well, basically it’s the future. It’s“shopping” television, but not the kind you know. There is not going to be an aging model with an annoying over the top presenter, ramming cut-price diamonds down your throat. No. This is very intelligent television and computer communication technology. The idea is simple; when you see something on the television that you like, you can go ahead and buy it. “Oooh Johnny Depp how I like your eye patch,” I pause the television; click a button on my remote and it will take me to the website where I can buy my pirate patch. Or if you do not want to buy, maybe just save for later (think Pinterest 2.0). This is not just limited to clothing — apps already exist for audio – for example, Shazam, which can recognize the majority of music tracks. This can also extend to images, like when you are watching a show with a group of friends and there is always that actor that you can never remember. Google and a handful of other companies have been working tirelessly on image recognition software so it would tell you who that it is; it’s Bob Hoskins of course. The future is within our fingertips (and will soon be in our eyeglasses with these Google glasses I keep hearing about). This does open up a serious privacy issue but that is for another time.

We also saw some amazing advancements in the world of lighting. I remember a few years ago being on set and having a lighting rig team of 40 people who were consistently adjusting barn doors to find that perfect light. We’d also waste precious minutes having to wait for the lights to warm up and cool down. 80% of the light energy was lost to heat anyway, which meant we then had to pay a fortune in air conditioning. My point is that the future of lights has evolved massively in the past 5 years. Your key light is now, and for the foreseeable future, the dedolite dlh4. At the Arri stand I saw a man kick this light, then whilst switched on, clean it in a bucket of water. No electric shocks, no smashed glass, just 1 clean working light. Your fill lights are the Kino Flo LED Celebs – these give off a great amount of light on a dimmer and use hardly any electricity as they are LED. The bulbs last longer and will hardly drop in colour temperature over hundreds of usages, roughly half a stop maximum. Those 40 people with those expensive air conditioning bills are now a couple of people who need to wear sweaters.

We saw many other exciting innovations at the conference that I could go on all day about, simultaneous multicam editing, 32 vs 64 bit technology, technocranes and bullet time technology… but I fear you may get a headache. Until next time!

-Peter Rossiter