a tool for creating video programs that can re-edit themselves
Traditional television is one-size-fits-all. Editing is fixed, and
although viewers see the same thing, they often don't experience the
same thing. Viper allows video producers to create responsive
programs whose editing can change during viewing in response to
preference or profile information, presentation equipment or
conditions, or real-time sensor feedback.
Unlike traditional editing systems in which producers build a single
linear video program, those using Viper create a database of annotated
video and audio clips and other media objects along with a set of
editing guidelines that describe which bits of this source material
should be included and how they should be layered and assembled into
complete high-quality programs for different viewing situations.
Viper consists of a prototype graphical interface (pictured above) for
creating annotated media databases, and a framework of primitives,
based in the Isis programming language, for expressing the editing
guidelines. As opposed to simply splicing clips end to end, this
framework enables the use of complex editing constructs, such as
inserts, AB rolls, graphics, and transitions of various sorts.
Viper's playback engine supports client-side personalization, in which
the final edit is performed on the viewer's receiving device,
eliminating the need to transmit personal information to a distant and
perhaps untrusted server.
Viper enables a new genre of video programming, distinct from
traditional television, that offers new narrative possibilities and
enables directors and producers to gain more control over how their
programs are edited and exhibited in different viewing situations.
Potential applications include individually-personalized
advertisements, responsive educational video programs, and
documentaries that aim to equalize experience across a population of
As a demonstration, we created a responsive political campaign
advertisement that tailors its presentation to portray the candidate
in the most persuasive way for each individual viewer. The mock
candidate in our example is running for "student council" at the Media
Lab, and the advertisement responds to six factors about the viewer:
Job position (faculty, student, etc.)
Office location (1st floor, 2nd floor, etc.)
Concerns (food, equipment, etc.)
Mindset (positive, negative)
Favorite musical genre (latin, jazz, etc.)
Attention span (short, medium, long).
Below are just four of hundreds of possible versions (Quicktime
format). Each of these is edited completely automatically by the
Viper is a continuation of a project created in the Object-Based Media
group at the MIT Media Lab. We
wish to thank Aisling Kelliher, Matthew Palmer, and V. Michael Bove,
Jr. for their contributions to this project.
Publications and Links
Stefan Agamanolis, At the intersection of broadband and
broadcasting: How ITV technologies can support Human
Connectedness, Proceedings of the 4th EuroITV Conference,
Athens, 25 - 26 May 2006, pp. 17-22. (PDF)
Stefan Agamanolis and V. Michael Bove, Jr., Viper: A Framework for
Responsive Television, IEEE MultiMedia, vol. 10, no. 1,
July - September 2003, pp. 88 - 98. (link)
Stefan Agamanolis, Isis, Cabbage, and Viper: New tools and
strategies for designing responsive media, PhD dissertation,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001.
V. Michael Bove, Jr. and Stefan Agamanolis, Responsive
Television, Proc. IBC 2000. (PDF)