Adding Hyperlinks to Digital Television

V. Michael Bove, Jr., Jonathan Dakss, Stefan Agamanolis, Edmond Chalom
MIT Media Laboratory
Cambridge, MA USA
Proc. 140th SMPTE Technical Conference, 1998

Hyperlinked video is video in which specific objects are made selectable by some form of user interface, and the user's interactions with these objects modify the presentation of the video. Identifying and tracking the objects remains one of the chief difficulties in authoring hyperlinked video; we solve this problem through the use of a video tracking and segmentation algorithm that uses color, texture, motion, and position parameters. An author uses a computer mouse to scribble roughly on each desired object in a frame of video, and the system generates a segmentation mask for that frame and following frames. We have applied this technique in the production of a soap opera program, with the result that the user can inquire about purchasing clothing and furnishings used in the show. We will discuss this and other uses of the technology, describe our experiences in using the segmentation algorithm for hyperlinked video purposes in both broadcast and on-demand modes, and present several different user-interface methods appropriate for hyperlinked video.