Editing digital video
with a flick of the wrist Human-computer
interaction researcher wants to change the way we
use computers By Leo
Gonzalo Ramos thinks he can
take the toil out of editing digital video.
Ramos is a grad student in U of Tís
human-computer interaction research group. Headed
by professor Ravin Balakrishnan, the group aims to
develop new methods of interacting with the
technologies of the future.
interfaces we are accustomed to on Windows and
Macintosh computers were invented three decades
ago. The mouse is at least as old, and the
keyboard is much older. As good as these ideas
were, Balakrishnanís group believes we now need
better ways of interacting with our technologies
if we are to fully exploit them.
figuring out a way for people to efficiently
manipulate digital video so that it can be
annotated, organized and shared
Currently, when we watch an
interesting DVD movie or a film trailer online,
the most we can do to share it is just to tell our
friends where to find it. If we are really
excited, we might even write down specific time
markers and tell them about cool scenes at certain
time intervals. Aside from that, there isnít much
we can do.
Ramos is developing a system
anyone can use to annotate digital video by adding
notes and pictures and pulling out interesting
scenes from video streams.
the system using a pen-input device. Move the pen
to the right, the video plays. A quick tap and it
pauses. With a flick to the left, the video
As Ramos showed, he can grab
entire scenes of a video, then stretch it out to
view individual frames. Another few quick flicks
of the wrist and he has completely spliced and
reconnected the video to his fancy.
system is more than just a fancy video editor. At
any time while the video is playing, Ramos is able
to write messages or draw pictures directly on or
around the video frame. Reviewing the video, his
comments fade in and out as the annotated scenes
Ramos and his fellow researchers hope
to develop a new way of looking at your computer.
In our increasingly connected world, he hopes that
one day, all our information will be
interconnected and our media will be easily
accessed and shared by all.