The growth of delivery systems (broadcast, mobile, web, IPTV), the constant increase of the bandwidth offered to end users (including the promises for greater bandwidth with the coming NGN), and the ever richer functionalities provided by end user terminals, are stimulating creators, contents producers and distributors to offer richer and immersive experiences to their users.

  • In the field of 2D images, content is becoming “interactive multimedia scenes”, but there has not been a firm market convergence toward a reference technology. This causes substantial problems to content producers, because proprietary technologies are subject to changes dictated by ungcontrolled marketing policies that may jeopardise huge investments.
  • In the field of 3D images, interactive applications with synthetic contents distributed on web and mobile are becoming common, but delivery by streaming is hindered by the large amount of data needed to represent 3D spaces in a realistic fashion and by the lack of practical and accepted tool to manage their intellectual property.

Therefore we are rapidly moving toward content sources that are available in larger number, offered in a greater variety of forms, transmitted on more delivery systems and to be consumed on more user devices.

The current technologies for storing digital content account for the (linear) content and related metadata. While the content is recorded on conventional storage support, metadata are usually kept on more or less complex relational structures like RDBMS, OODBMS or XML based Data Bases. Since transmedia content is similar to “complex objects”, where the content has a non-linear structure that includes external as well as internal references over a time line, there is a need to develop solutions for creation, transport and consumption of transmedia and 3D contents. There is also the need to investigate new data structures, like, for example, “graphs”, that can be used for non-linear description, or semantic DB, and solutions must be found for the management of external dependencies (hyperlinks).

Next to the growth of multimedia content, new forms of interaction appear, e.g., annotations made by users on different media (such as Flikr and YouTube). The substantial amount of available content, also creates the need for users to easily search other content items related to the original ones. In this direction, the specific suggestion tailored to user preferences can produce a considerable improvement of the global consumption experience. However the modeling and profiling activities must also account for the stronger requests for privacy and anonymity for the daily web use, in addition to providing a higher degree of transparency to the user.

The INCA project deals with the analysis, design, implementation and test of a protocol for the delivery of transmedia content: today “digital terrestrial broadcast” thrives because the standard MPEG2-TS protocol exists and evolves in the direction of including different transport protocols and platforms on which the users are accustomed to “consume” digital contents. Therefore the project can provide a complete distribution solution for transmedia content over different media and technological platforms (multiplatform), with a specific reference to transport, user customization (tagging), and distributed search (query by content) issues.

Read the end-to-end INCA system


Il progetto di ricerca INCA è finanziato nell’ambito del POR FESR 2007/2013 della Regione Piemonte con il concorso di risorse comunitarie del FESR, dello Stato Italiano e della Regione Piemonte.