Trending Topics – 08 October 2020
by Oliver Janko
The Salzburg startup NativeWaves wants to broadcast events, shows and films in the future without latency and perfectly synchronized in different languages and from different perspectives. This should enable viewers to have more options for personalization on their mobile devices – and at some point the discussion about which language the new blockbuster should run in will be settled.
NativeWaves: “Personalized entertainment experience”
Co-founder Christof Haslauer explains how the system works: “NativeWaves combines ULL streaming solutions (Ultra Low Latency) with our unique sync engine and uses the audio data from the main transmission to synchronize multiple video, audio and data streams to offer viewers an engaging and personalized entertainment experience ”. When the founders went to the cinema, the idea arose to develop an app with which users can enjoy every film in a language of their choice in perfect synchronicity with the visual content.
The concert from every angle
Haslauer: “The idea was to make sure that people in every country could go to the cinema and enjoy a film without having to worry about the language of the film.” This is currently not possible, as most of the applications are currently still in the broadcast and live sports sectors. “The cinema solution is a point on the roadmap”.
The idea behind NativeWaves can best be described with the example of a concert on the startup’s homepage . First there is a concert on TV, after a few seconds of “listening” the second screen takes over the sound and image in perfect sync. Various camera angles and image sections can also be selected on the “second screen”. The second screen should also be able to display personalized advertising.
The synchronization challenge
Different distribution methods have different latencies, explains the founder. “For example, a linear television signal reaches the television screen in about three seconds, but the same signal, when sent through an OTT streaming signal, can take anywhere from 45 seconds to a minute to reach the television screen”. The term over-the-top content (OTT) describes the transmission of video and audio content via Internet access, e.g. Netflix.
This latency also causes problems with synchronization. When multiple video and data streams are sent from a live event to a user’s mobile device, they will arrive at different times because they have different latencies. Ultimately, this means that they are not in sync with each other. The NativeWaves solution therefore uses a streaming solution based on the industry standard Ultra Low Latency to transmit the audio, video and data streams of the event “faster than the broadcast signal to the user’s mobile device”. “The sync engine in the cloud uses the broadcast audio to synchronize the video streams, various audio feeds and data to the exact position and to deliver a 100% synchronous experience,” explains Haslauer.
First outing at the Red Bull Ring
The technology is currently intended for the transmission of live sports, concerts, esports and entertainment shows or for multilingual conferences. NativeWaves has also been used on TV. Christof Haslauer remembers: “We launched the 2019 MotoGP race in Spielberg in cooperation with Servus TV and Red Bull Media House. Servus TV made the second screen with NativeWaves technology available to its viewers for the rest of the MotoGP season 2019 “.
Corona crisis as spoilsport
The startup earns money according to the SaaS model. Haslauer: “Our pricing depends on the use case, but generally we work on a per-event basis that includes a setup fee and an event fee.” However, Corona has thwarted NativeWaves’ calculations for 2020. Haslauer: “The Corona crisis came at the worst possible time for us. The suspension of the live sporting events paused or dropped our discussions with broadcasters about introducing our technology, and we had to get back to the drawing board. Our board of directors fully supported us in these difficult times. We used this time to refine our products and make them even more efficient while adding new functions that have been requested by the industry ”. NativeWaves currently offers four different products.
That should pay off in the long term, explains Haslauer: “In the next five years we hope to become the market leader in our core product range. We hope to bring to market the next generation media experiences we are currently working on. We are working on an expanded line of products and problems that the industry will face in the coming years ”.