One of the major sticking points of our project is the concept of having a crowd extract information about a person from a rich media source.
Firstly let’s just clarify some terms.
- Crowd – a group of users of a system.
- Information – there is a difference between information and data: data is the raw material ready for processing, information is data that has been processed so that it has some meaning to us humans.
- Rich media source – this is video, audio or images etcetera, essentially anything that isn’t text.
So what we want is to present the crowd with a rich media source for them to use as a reference to help them fill in a form containing information on the person.
The problem is balancing the ‘richness’ of the media so to speak and the size of the media (in bytes). A large bandwidth (e.g. > 256 kbps upload) is something we can not just take for granted, especially if we are to create something which can be deployed in areas of low connectivity.
So when we came to considering recording the interview with a person seeking loved ones as video we had problem, we were going to be dealing with files of sizes too large for sensible use in the domain. We then investigated the compression options available on Android devices and were able to tweak it such that we got the size down such that the bit rate on the videos was around 75 kbps.
Yet when reviewed the benefits of video, the extra information gained from a video of low quality did not justify the overhead in size. What we’ve decided opt for now is recording the interview as audio and using a high quality (well higher quality than the images in the video) still image as the rich media source.
Over the next week we’re going to be performing some experiments to see how this works out, stay tuned.