In more speculation news today
put out a patent application in February for “Web-Based System for Genertion of Interactive Games Based on Digital Videos” which was published this month.
I’m sure you can see where this one is going: Google
has some form of plans in order to turn YouTube and Google Video into a game hosting service of sorts. If you take a gander at the application
you can see that Google
wants to incorporate the annotations we already have into an “interactive game based on a digital video” whereby the annotations can be used to access certain time frames within other videos. So, basically, you can flip around between various videos in an interactive adventure hop between the playbacks.
Here’s the applications quick summary of what’s going on:
A video may have associated with it one or more annotations, which modify the appearance and/or behavior 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.
This cross-referencing could also be used with other content such as audio, and lead to a montage of YouTube clips that you can interact with. Remember, too, that this will inevitably spread into the mobile platforms given that YouTube is already available on that front.
Point-and-click games could potentially make a huge comeback with Google
’s plan for a menu-style interface that they describe:
The use of various types of annotations can be used to modify standard linear video viewing in a number of different ways. They could be used to implement, for example, a menu-style interface, in which the video displays several choices via annotations with links to other pages, and then pauses the video to allow the user to select one of the choices. The menu items could be still annotations, animated video annotations, and the like, and could be displayed in a traditional list of items, as separate labeled visual objects, or in a variety of other manners. They could also be used to implement branching storylines, where clicking on one annotation leads to one continuation of the video, and clicking on a different annotation leads to a different continuation.
On the other hand, however, I see a potential for more advertising integration:
Additionally, in conjunction with a search index of a search engine such as Google.TM. or YouTube.TM., if an object in a video is indeed recognized, then a phrase describing that product could be executed against the search index and the top search result suggested as a link for the object (e.g., searching for the title of a recognized music CD and linking to a product search page corresponding to that title).
This might be cool in theory: you see something in a video that’s unrecognizable to you, but something you’d like to own and that Google
can tell you where and how to buy said item. But what about the potential of people uploading videos just for advertisement purposes? Ad agencies spamming the site and, if they’re smart, implementing the whole playback aspect of this patent is likely. They can create a mini-game (Sneak King on YouTube!) for the sole purpose of advertising.
If you take a look at the rest of the patent they have many other ideas of how to utilize this new feature with annotations. Either way looks like YouTube and Google Video have some revamping to be done on them in the near future.