Digital storytelling defines our culture. It’s also a major sector of the US economy: the media & entertainment industry employs about 0.4% of the US civilian workforce (~0.6M jobs), generates approximately 3.2% of GDP (~$440B), and delivers roughly $30B annually in foreign sales/exports . Computing technology is changing how story and art are authored and how they are experienced. HCI is a critical element of many of these changes, being intrinsic to both the authoring and experiencing of stories.
Artist-Friendly Tools: Compared to pencil-and-paper, current CG tools for modeling, animating, and lighting are very difficult to use. A CG movie can cost $150M and require tedious work from hundreds of highly trained artists and technologists. New forms of input, such as sketch-based interaction, are an economic necessity for professional film makers and a boon to amateurs.
Computational Cinematography: Digital image sensors and Adobe Photoshop™ have revolutionized photography; a similar revolution in cinematography is just beginning. This revolution will require new camera hardware and new video-processing algorithms. The ultimate goal is to allow film directors, both professional and amateur, to edit and manipulate moving pictures with the same facility that photographers can now edit and manipulate still images.
User-Generated Content: Editing a blog, uploading a video to YouTube™, managing a social network on MySpace™, and getting community recommendations for books and movies are all activities that have been possible for less than a decade. Making it easy for individuals around the world to tell their personal stories and share their opinions is a key HCI challenge for the coming decade. Another challenge is harnessing the power of the web to retell old stories, through the communal creation of digital libraries that capture the literatures of other times and places.
New Display Technologies: Digital cinema projectors, flat-panel displays, and e-paper are changing how we watch movies, play games, and read books. The next generation of displays will exhibit greater spatial resolution, temporal resolution, and dynamic range, and come in a greater variety of form factors. These developments will afford new challenges and opportunities for interface design.
Multimodal Input: The Nintendo Wii™ and Microsoft Surface™ have shown how new interaction metaphors, namely gesture recognition and multi-touch input, can dramatically change how we interact with computers. Speech processing is likely to be incorporated into consumer electronics in the coming decade.
Mobile Devices: The Apple iPod™ has changed how people experience music; the Nintendo Gameboy™ and Wii™ have changed how children play; and the Apple iPhone™ is changing how we watch videos. All of these devices required new UI hardware and software to be usable, as will next-generation mobile devices.
Interacting with Intelligent Agents: The characters in digital stories increasingly take the form of robots in theme parks, non-player characters in computer games, and toys in our homes. Effective interaction with these autonomous agents requires the incorporation of ideas from natural-language understanding, human and machine perception, and artificial intelligence.
Evolution of the Story Form: Books, motion pictures, and computer games are existing forms of storytelling. New technologies will enable new storytelling forms. Transmedia and mixed-reality storytelling is one example of this evolution. New storytelling forms have great potential not just for entertainment, but also for education.
Joe Marks – Disney Research
Date: September 23-25, 2010
Location: Burbank, CA