Mozilla bring popcorn to the HTML5 video party.

November 9, 20110 Comments
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URL: http://mozillapopcorn.org/

Mozilla Popcorn is an open source javascript project designed to integrate semantic data into online video, and present it easily on your site. Earlier this month, the alpha version of the library was released from the team at Mozilla, just in time for the Mozilla Festival in London where a number of hackers put it through its paces.

According to Mozilla, “Popcorn allows web filmmakers to amp up interactivity around their movies, harnessing the web to expand their creations in new ways. Popcorn uses JavaScript to link real-time social media, news feeds, data visualizations, and other context directly to online video, pulling the web into the action in real time. ”

In other words, Popcorn gives you the flexibility to aggregate and curate content from the real-time web, in a HTML5 video container, and present it easily to you users. There is both a library for developers, and a fully fledged HTML5 app for non technical users.

Users of Popcorn Maker can drag the interactive elements of their choosing (including Wikipedia data, Flickr, Google maps, Streetview, and others) onto the timeline using a platform that looks like similar to Final Cut and other timeline based software, and embed it in easily in their site. It takes the portability of online presentation software such as Slideshare and applies an extra dimension of curation and video interaction to the mix making authoring interactive media pages as easy as point and click right from the browser.

To give further explanation as to what could be achieved with Popcorn, Mozilla have provided these potential use case scenarios.

  • Pull a football player’s real-time stats, Wikipedia entry or twitter feed right into the action of a game or sportscast;
  • Pull a politician or pundit’s “truth score” history or voting record into an online interview;
  • Dynamically inject photos from Flickr as “b-roll” or context for video or audio stories;
  • Match footage about an oil spill with real-time footage of the spill’s present size in real time;
  • Annotate political speeches or newscasts with viewers’ own media, commentary and social responses;
  • Pull Google Street View onto the screen to dynamically explore depicted neighbourhoods and places.

There are a number of existing demos available to view online, including History in the Streets, which links to Google Street View. There is also the interactive documentary the One Millionth Tower, produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

With the speed that information is being delivered on the web today, it offers an exciting new way to showcase content, and provides the portability that content creators demand.

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About the Author ()

Paul is a regular 30 year old web bloke / programmer with a penchant for online marketing. This blog is a personal outlet, with an eclectic mix of articles.

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