Sky has said that it will work with AWS and its partners to identify and name guests on its live broadcast, as they enter the chapel for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the 19th of May.
Using facial recognition, machine learning and image analysis in the cloud, viewers will be able to see guests' names as subtitles in the broadcast, on Sky's app or online. They can then interact to find out more information about the attendees.
As well as AWS, Sky is working with GrayMeta and UI Centric on the service, known as ‘Who's Who Live'. GrayMeta will provide the data analysis platform, which will be combined with the Amazon Rekognition service for guest identification. UI Centric has designed and developed the front-end application and video player that viewers will see.
John Motz, CTO of GrayMeta, said: "The Who's Who app will provide viewers with an unprecedented experience which will enable them to participate as the event unfolds. By harnessing the power of automated metadata creation, this experience exemplifies the future of how content will be viewed across platforms and technologies."
An AWS Elemental Live single-channel video encoder will be used during guest arrival, ingesting and processing live video from a local input. Video will then be sent to the cloud for processing, using the AWS Elemental MediaLive service. Elemental will also be used to integrate DRM for distribution over Amazon's CloudFront content delivery network.
Alex Dunlap, General Manager for AWS Elemental, said: "We're excited to have helped Sky News successfully build and deploy the Royal Wedding: Who's Who Live app. The high visibility and unpredictable audience size for this type of event made AWS cloud services, including those for media, a great solution by giving Sky the ability to test quickly, only pay for what was used, and produce a reliable, high-quality experience in a matter of weeks. Sky News is making their content even more engaging to viewers by enriching content with AWS machine learning services."
While we applaud Sky and AWS for attempting to bring something new to the coverage of the Royal Wedding, we do wonder: how would this play out if it took place six days later, once the GDPR is in force? That regulation requires explicit consent from users for processing biometric data, after all.
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