For developers and tech-enthusiasts, the beta release of iOS 12 is an exclusive insight into what Apple will bring to the table as part of its Autumn release schedule. Many of the features are listed on Apple's website, as well as being discussed by tech bloggers. But there is one success story that I haven't seen so much: the desire to get my numbers down.
In the last few days, Instagram brought out a new feature, or app, or both, depending how you look at it, and these are my thoughts after spending some time with it. I’m referring to IGTV, also known as Instagram TV.
Facebook knows more about me than I do. The Cambridge Analytica row hit the social networking site right before the new Europe-wide GDPR came into force. And questions about user data and privacy had already circulated for years beforehand. But what actually is the problem with Facebook? I put it down to one thing: the problem with Facebook is that it grew too much too quickly.
Instagram; the social networking site built upon photographs of pets and food. Every now and then, a new feature will pop up. Whether it be Stories, Carousel, or even moving away from 1:1 pictures and video. But there's one feature not yet taken up, that I am keen to see adopted; the ability to share 360° content.
Mark Zuckerberg was praised by the President of the European Parliament for allowing his testimony to EU officials to be live-streamed. And the fact that the CEO travelled to Europe to answer these questions should also be recognised, even if he has turned down multiple offers to speak to a UK parliamentary group. But the session has left me with a mixed response.
Two weeks ago, the Midlands was hit by heavy snow. But with it came an opportunity to take my Theta S camera out for some photos. All I had was the camera, a selfie stick, and some gloves. Taking photos in 360º takes a little bit more planning than any other photo. Not only do you have the framing, lighting, and general set up to worry about, you also have the 'hide factor' to contest with too. How easy is it to remove yourself from the shot?
The aim of the project was to explore interactive video, and to find a way of providing additional context to the viewer. To do so, I created four videos. The first was my default, a non-interactive version to act as a point of comparison. Two videos provided interactivity by allowing the user to control the content on screen, and these were achieved using my own web-code and an online tool (Thinglink). The final video, exploring the ability for the user to control the direction-of-view within the video, used 360º cameras to create a virtual reality video.
Instagram brought out its new carousel feature earlier this year, and one of its benefits is the ability to share panoramic pictures. In this blog post, I'm going to guide you through the process of creating such post with ordinary panoramic photos, and photos taken in 360 degrees.
Something I discussed in a previous blog post was a need for varying introductions to each of the videos I'm producing. I filmed these today, in the television studio at university. Rather than returning to the park, the same place as I filmed pieces to camera, I chose the studio because the environment is separate to that in the video itself. The separation is important to distinguish between the content, and what is essentially a quick tutorial on 'how to watch this video'.
This is an important milestone to celebrate - not only can I continue with progressing the coded format, but I have discovered, acted on, and learned from some difficulties I wasn't expecting to encounter.
In my previous blog post, I mentioned the disappointing results with the 360º camera during the two interviews I have so far conducted, with my hesitation around quality and positioning. To exemplify what I mean by this, I've attached a still image taken from my second filmed interview, with Francis Clarke.
I've now reached a point where all interview footage, flat and 360º, have been imported in Final Cut Pro X ready for editing. With other commitments, I haven't spent as much time editing these as I'd originally hoped, however I have reviewed all the footage collected and started to note time-codes of interest.
This week I recorded the first footage for the content of my project. I did two interviews this week in London and Birmingham, speaking to Sir David Omand and Francis Clarke about the Investigatory Powers Act for my project. Both interviews were filmed with the usual camera setup, but also with a Theta S camera.
As the sixth week of production comes to an end, it’s time I stepped back from coding to concentrate on the video’s content. Throughout the research stages of the project, I have wanted to test the proportionality of the Investigatory Powers Act - does its benefits justify an increased state of surveillance on members of the public?
The previous code successfully placed the videos on top of each other, and had made a connection to the viewers webcam - but what about a show/hide function? This is something I'm keen to explore as part of the video, where the videos begin hidden from view and are made available throughout the primary video.
One of the elements of the artefact I am producing within my MA by Practice project is a layer of interactivity. It is my intention to allow the viewer an opportunity to view additional content from within the video player - whether it be a photograph, or the extended clip from an interview