Widgets for Interactive TV

Sergio Goldenberg (Project Manager), Thomas Barnwell, Bobby Schweizer, Tonguc Sezen, Digdem Sezen

The WIT system is a framework of swappable utilities that promotes active shared viewing. It includes widgets for monitoring, tagging, live commentary, educational annotation, and synchronous remote viewing. To avoid distraction from the television content, the widget browser was designed to fit within in the conventional broadcast messaging area in the lower third of the screen.

The WIT system is a framework of swappable utilities that promotes active shared viewing. It includes widgets for monitoring, tagging, live commentary, educational annotation, and synchronous remote viewing.
Like existing systems, WIT includes information monitoring widgets that pull custom data like weather or traffic reports from the Internet. Unlike existing passive widgets, WIT also includes interactive functions.
The Now Playing Widget displays a friends list, indicating who else is watching.
Viewers can comment on the program by sending a text message or tweet over which appears on the screen in real time. As comments are entered, they are indicated as blocks on a timeline so the viewer can see the density of the discussion.
One-button tagging lets the user mark content using the remote control without interrupting the viewing experience.
As tags are added a screenshot from the tagged segment of the program in progress is automatically uploaded to the web for later review. The system also automatically aggregates comments into a tag cloud.
The Annotation Widget allows educators and students to link written commentary with specific segments of video. Sections with educational annotation are depicted on a timeline, which is scrollable by the viewer.
Teachers can also create a tagging assignment such as asking students to identify all the instances of a particular topic.
WIT also includes an avatar system for social viewing including customizable graphic displays.