Penn State Collaborating with Alcatel-Lucent on Video Social Networking

Pennsylvania State University and Alcatel-Lucent have announced an agreement to jointly develop a mobile video social networking application. The collaborative research team will be funded by the vendor.

With the announcement, Penn State becomes the newest member of the Alcatel-Lucent University Innovations Program, which supports development of high-bandwidth applications for wireless (4G) and wireline broadband networks. Carleton University in Ottawa and the University of Texas at Dallas are also research partners with the company.

The joint work will focus on the development of a mobile phone interface that provides users with the ability to view their video files as a collage or multiple simultaneous video feeds, similar to a wall of monitors seen in a TV studio, situation, or control room. Video social networking has particular relevance to collaborative and remote education, entertainment, sports, healthcare, and government applications.

"The increasing demands of mobile phone users require the creation of more sophisticated services such as sharing videos with friends and family through social networks. However, the physical constraints of mobile phones (e.g., small screen size, bandwidth limitations, etc.) pose challenges such as how to navigate through such social networks and retrieve and display associated video clips," said Lee Giles, professor of information science and technology. "This project will offer valuable insights into other mobile applications, particularly those involving the concept of 'hyperconnectivity' or the idea that everything can be connected to produce a multifaceted quality user experience."

The Penn State research team, led by Giles and colleague Xiaolong Zhang, will explore ways to make it easier for people to access video-enabled social networking capabilities on their mobile phones.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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