Bluff your way through Breaking Bad by watching an entire season in 20 mins
No time to catch up on your favourite soap opera or the box set everybody is talking about? Now you can thanks to technology that can condense a film or television episode into two or three minutes.
Technology firm Skimo – short for Skim the video – has developed the Skimo Engine that uses “computer vision algorithms” to extract the interesting parts of films or TV series and put them together in a shorter video.
The “video summarisation”, which takes just a minute to be “crunched” from a programme, can then be sent to your smartphone or iPad so you can catch up while you wait for the bus, or in your lunch break.
With the system an episode of EastEnders would take just two minutes to watch while you can catch up with a whole season of Breaking Bad in 20 minutes.
The entire five seasons of the acclaimed Baltimore crime series The Wire can be seen in just three hours.
The system, developed in Silicon Valley, works by analysing the “language" or "grammar” of the film itself, but instead of letters, words and sentences, it looks at the scenes, shots and frames.
Filmmakers – either consciously or unconsciously – usually follow a formula when making a video to make the viewing experience easier and more enjoyable.
This means that crucial scenes are given extra visual and sound impact.
The firm known as Skimo – short for Skim the video – has developed the Skimo Engine that uses “computer vision algorithms” to extract the interesting parts and put them together in a shorter video.
The Video Summary is usually made up of six 30-second crucial scenes.
Vasu Srinivasan, the founder, said that the company was in talks with the American network NBC, the Spanish Telemundo and the Discovery Channel to offer the system to its viewers.
He even is in talks to summarise the British made Harry Potter series of films.
“While every director has their own way of doing things just like every writer, they also have to follow a uniform pattern, ” said Mr Srinivasan who formerly worked for Motorola, the smartphone manufacturers.
“Otherwise it would be too distracting to the viewer. Crucial scenes are given more focus, are often brighter, have more detail or shots and it is this that the Skimo Engine picks up.
“Most long play films and television episodes will have six or less crucial scenes and by crunching them together we can produce a summary.”
“Our hope and dream is that one day Skimo will become part of the language like watching a trailer or film commentary.
“The great thing is it works for any type of film or programme in any language.”
The summary’s have already been used in Tamil language soaps and the comedy Series Frazier and the company are in talks with US networks
Check out a condensed episode of Frasier HERE