The i2CAT Foundation has recently joined XReco (XR mEdia eCOsystem), a research project launched in September 2022 oriented at empowering the media sector in Europe as well as other members of the tourism and mobility industries through innovative solutions based on emerging technologies (AI, blockchain, Virtual Reality). Particularly, XReco will create a new data-driven ecosystem for the media industry, focusing on facilitating data sharing, search, and discovery and supporting news and entertainment content creation. The focus will be on creating and (re-)use of location-related 2D and 3D assets and developing XR experiences.
The ecosystem’s core, represented by a Neural Media Repository (NMR), will foster content sharing between organisations and provide increased access to content for media creators, considering novel data monetization and rights management policies. The project also includes AI-based media transformation services built around the NMR to produce novel media and XR experiences, including 3D neural reconstructions, neural-based device localisation, image stitching, de-/re-lighting and holoportation.
Researchers from the Media and Internet Area (MIA) and Distributed Artificial Intelligence (DAI) are involved in the project. i2CAT will play a crucial role within XReco. The centre will technically coordinate the project, leading the technology design, architecture, integration and requirements specifications and participating in validation and demonstration. In addition, i2CAT will lead the specific technical development of the 3D reconstruction services and the holoportation system.
“XReco is one of the most ambitious projects I have ever witnessed, and I’m extremely proud of being part of it as a partner and as a technical coordinator. The XReco consortium has a deep technological knowledge: 20 partners with a unique and variegated set of expertise that ranges over AI, 3D technologies, publishing & broadcasting, XR/AR applications, blockchain and legal aspects. The partners have been specifically selected to face all the challenges that this project will solve”, explains Gianluca Cernigliaro, researcher of the Media Internet Area in i2CAT and technical coordinator of the project.
The developed technology will be validated in use case scenarios for the news media for XR-based broadcasting and automatic and customised multitarget news publishing, and for location-based information and entertainment content, with applications that also work in tourism and the automotive industry.
Innovative XR and immersive experiences
For instance, the solutions will be leveraged for live and offline news media XR productions. The news presenter will be teleported from the studio to a 3D reconstruction of a scene relevant for the news (i.e., a disaster area, concert, or sports event), and the production will be able to show this newly generated content from a potentially unlimited number of viewpoints, with improved detail and with the possibility to place the spectator in an XR immersive experience. The platform will also facilitate the creation of XR experiences for tourism and in-car entertainment, with unprecedented experience enabled by high-accuracy localisation and the retrieval and adaptation of relevant media assets based on the user location.
i2CAT Foundation will be among 20 partners from 12 European countries, combining their competencies and visions to enable efficient media data sharing, discovery, recommendations, and transformations, involving different types and sizes of media organizations.
XReco main goal is to build an enabling technology and pave the way for lifting the use of XR media content from occasionally being involved in media production to being regularly integrated into the media industry.