2/2010

Future media are ubiquitous

Artur Lugmayr

The field of Artur Lugmayr's professorship is digital media
production management. He believes that in the future we will
be able to enjoy biological media with all our senses.

Will mobile phones become personal secretaries that filter media content according to our preferences and needs?

"Nowadays television, radio and the Internet broadcast their own content, but in the future we will see them merge into larger entities, media environments", says Professor Artur Lugmayr who is based at the Entertainment and Media Management (EMMi Lab.) at the Department of Business Information Management and Logistics at TUT.

Lugmayr says that media follow the same development path as technology in general. We are headed toward intelligent embedded systems. And the most important issue is also to be able to make money out of it.

Adapted to everyday life, the term "smart technology" can, for example, refer to a refrigerator that senses when it's low in milk, or a mobile phone that alerts the user when a friend is nearby. Embedded technology disappears into the environment and works unobtrusively without us being consciously aware of it.

"Like technology, media will become ubimedia that is embedded in the environment, surrounds us and is present everywhere", says Lugmayr.

Media are everywhere, but media content is becoming increasingly personalized to suit customer needs. Mobile phones may play an important role in media content management in the future. According to Lugmayr, mobile phones might evolve into personal media secretaries - gatekeepers, if you will - that sort and organize content based on the user's preferences.

The transformation of television has already started. HDTV is gaining in popularity, but Internet television is set to reshape the future of the media landscape. This was the conclusion drawn by participants of the European Conference on Interactive TV and Video that was hosted in Tampere last summer and chaired by Lugmayr.

"Internet television is a big step forward and likely to become a reality in the near future. It'll be especially intriguing to see what happens when social media is integrated into Internet TV."

Simultaneously with all the senses

In Lugmayr's own far-reaching vision media is biological.

"Since new advances in technology are typically adopted by the entertainment industry sooner or later, I believe that the results of biotechnology research will be utilized when seeking new ways to deepen our sensory experiences. Take films, for example. Just imagine what it would be like to enjoy the film experience with all your senses!"

Ubimedia - useful and entertaining

  • The prefix "ubi" comes from the Latin word "ubique" meaning "everywhere".
  •  Artur Lugmayr set up the Nokia Ubimedia Awards to encourage makers of digital media to generate ideas and develop new and innovative ubimedia products & services. The contest is arranged annually as part of the international MindTrek conference in Tampere.
  • The award-winning solutions make everyday life easier - like the Smart Trash Bin that encourages recycling - or help visually handicapped people pass a pedestrian crossing safely.
  • Lugmayr says that an application that makes life more fun also deserves to be awarded!
  • The MindTrek conference was held in Tampere on 7 - 8 October.

A visionary perspective on film-making suits Lugmayr who makes films himself. It goes without saying that the preferred genre of this analytical scientist is documentary. A few years ago the Austrian-born Lugmayr was screened during the Tampere International Short Film Festival with his humorous Suominator documentary, a glimpse into the Finnish way of life from the perspective of a foreigner.

EMMi trains future leaders

Lugmayr heads the Entertainment and Media Production Management (EMMi) lab launched about a year ago at the Department of Business Information Management and Logistics. EMMi focuses on new media and new digital services from a company perspective. Right now one of the key themes is social media and ambient (ubiquitous) media.

"EMMi explores how media can be utilized to support management, different business concepts, and company processes. Why do some companies succeed while others fail? We are also engaged in close, multidisciplinary collaboration with local and international industry", says Lugmayr.

EMMi offers courses to students who will become future leaders. The practical-oriented courses include a lot of group assignments and encourage innovation and creativity. During their studies, students develop, among others, new services to the entertainment and media production industries.

"I don't think art and science are that different, they're both rooted in creativity. Let's look at Steve Jobs, for example. I'm sure he was able to revamp iPod expressly because of his art lessons and his consumer oriented thinking", says Lugmayr.

 Text and photo: Päivi Eskelinen

 

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