Google published a patent application earlier this month titled, Web-Based System for Generation of Interactive Games Based on Digital Videos.
That’s a boring title and the patent text isn’t much better.
It describes the technology as “the collaborative generation of interactive features for digital videos, and in particular to interactive video annotations enabling control of video playback locations and creation of interactive games.”
It goes on:
A video may have associated with it one or more annotations, which modify the appearance and/or behaviour of a video as it was originally submitted to an online video hosting site. Some examples of annotations are graphical text box annotations, which display text at certain locations and certain times of the video, and pause annotations, which halt playback of the video at a specified time within the video.
Some annotations, e.g. a graphical annotation (such as a text box annotation) comprising a link to a particular portion of a target video, are associated with a time of the target video, which can be either the video with which the annotation is associated, or a separate video. Selecting such annotations causes playback of the target video to begin at the associated time. Such annotations can be used to construct interactive games using videos, such as a game in which clicking on different portions of a video leads to different outcomes.
Erik Sherman at BNET — the guy who found the patent application — points out that Google may be working on something cool here.
BNET: [The filing] suggests two possibilities: the creation of games that hop in and out of popular videos (How long before we see Numa Numa: the Game? ) or a place where people could upload source videos that contain multiple versions of scenes to play out various scenarios and then pull them together through an online interface to create that particular game.
That could potentially open game creation to anyone with enough imagination, a video camera, an editing suite, and the ability to keep track of the video time line.
If Google is developing such products, the goal would probably be to attract more traffic and more brand advertising dollars. (Though Google is pondering charging users for some premium content.)
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