Communications of the ACM, vol. 32 , issue 7, pg. 802 - 810.
Early experiments in interactive video included surrogate travel, training, electronic books, point-of-purchase sales, and arcade game scenarios. Granularity, interruptability, and limited look ahead were quickly identified as generic attributes of the medium. Most early applications restricted the user's interaction with the video to traveling along paths predetermined by the author of the program. Recent work has favored a more constructivist approach, increasing the level of interactivity by allowing users to build, annotate, and modify their own environments.
Today's multitasking workstations can digitize and display video in real-time in one or more windows on the screen. Users can quickly change their level of interaction from passively watching a movie or the network news to actively controlling a remote camera and sending the output to colleagues at another location. In this environment, video becomes an information stream, a data type that can be tagged and edited, analyzed and annotated.
This article explores how principles and techniques of user-controlled video editing have been integrated into four multimedia environments. The goal of the authors is to explain in each case how the assumptions embedded in particular applications have shaped a set of tools for building constructivist environments, and to comment on how the evolution of a compressed digital video data format might affect these kinds of information environments in the future.
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