IBM this week is taking the wraps off a new initiative designed to enhance the searchability of video handled on its IBM Cloud platform.
Big Blue is integrating capabilities of its Watson data analysis service with the capabilities of its hosted video platform. The combination is expected to provide “cognitive analysis” of streaming video that can automatically generate data used to better understand semantics and patterns in video content that makes the content easier to both search and package into distinct chapters.
In short, IBM is investing to make it easier for viewers to find the video they want to watch.
IBM will roll out its video analysis tools in stages. Later this year, the company will introduce what it calls “live-event analysis” to track the natural language content of live streaming video and match it with audience reactions gathered from social media feeds. These capabilities will give organizations more advanced ways to measure feedback in real-time, determining how content presented in product launches and other presentations impacts viewer perceptions.
The company also said it is developing cognitive analysis tools that can be used to interpret language patterns and visual images to determine when the topic of a presentation changes. Such data can be used to better sort content into chapters on an automatic basis, reducing the amount of human intervention needed in packaging streaming content for online audiences. Company executives declined to identify a timeline for rolling out this feature.
For purposes of the enterprise streaming market, the timing for release of these features is virtually irrelevant. Rather, this IBM announcement simply provides further confirmation that the company is serious about its initiatives in the streaming video market. Within the past year, IBM has acquired both Clearleapand Ustream and has spent much of 2016 consolidating the operations of these solutions.
Many rivals have been taking a wait-and-see approach regarding IBM’s efforts in the space. Acquisitions the size of ClearLeap and Ustream could easily be lost in the shuffle and disappear in the event of a change in the strategic winds driving IBM’s efforts. By unveiling a commitment to merge video capabilities with Watson – one of IBM’s crown jewels – the company once again is signaling a deeper commitment to the streaming video market.
The IBM efforts also illustrate changes that may be looming on the horizon for streaming media technology developers. As industry giants like IBM work to leverage established flagship offerings, such as Watson, for use in the streaming video segment, the market’s pace of development – and associated competitive challenges – will only accelerate in the years ahead.