The Department of Engineering recently hosted the 4th International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Focus Group Meeting on Smart Cable Television.
"The focus group meetings provided a fantastic opportunity to disseminate our research through writing international standards that sustain for a much longer duration than traditional academic papers and reports irrespective of national and political boundaries"
—Dr Pradipta Biswas vice chairman of the focus group
ITU is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). ICT allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide. ITU is committed to connecting all the world's people – wherever they live and whatever their means. Through their work, they protect and support everyone's fundamental right to communicate.
The primary aim of this focus group is to assist development of globally unique future ITU Recommendations on "Smart Cable Television", taking advantage of technologies like ultra high-definition television, advanced 3D television, free-viewpoint television with some possible improvements to existing deployed technologies. Dr Pradipta Biswas was the main organiser as vice chairman of the focus group.
The meeting took place on 22nd and 23rd April at Trinity Hall, and was attended by representatives from different countries spread over three continents and institutes including Cisco systems, KDDI (Japan), ETRI (Korea), SARFT (China), and representatives from ITU. Professor John Clarkson delivered a welcome note on the first day introducing the university and especially the research at the Engineering Design Centre. Dr Pat Langdon delivered a talk on User Centred Design and other projects at the Engineering Design Centre. The Cambridge team also demonstrated their work on user modelling, multimodal interfaces and research on the India-UK Advanced Technology Centre (IU-ATC) project, in particular RTBI's (Rural Technology and Business Incubation Centre, India) synchronous video viewing feature of SocialTV project. The meeting was helpful to standardise Cambridge researchers' work on user modelling and adaptive interfaces as well as publicise the IU-ATC consortium. The focus group's mandate finishes later this year and it is expected that Cambridge researchers will contribute to the latest ITU standard on smart cable television.
The meeting was funded by the EPSRC IU-ATC grant while the meeting dinners were kindly sponsored by ETRI (Korea) and Cisco Systems.