Closing the Gap: Human Factors in Cross-device Media Synchronization doi: 10.1109/JSTSP.2016.2638358

Closing the Gap: Human Factors in Cross-device Media Synchronization

IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing
    Issue Date: FEBRUARY 2017
    Volume: 11 Issue: 1
    On page(s): 0
    Print ISSN: 1932-4553
    Online ISSN: 1941-0484
    Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/JSTSP.2016.2638358

The continuing growth in the mobile phone arena, particularly in terms of device 
capabilities and ownership is having a transformational impact on media 
consumption. It is now possible to consider orchestrated multi-stream experiences 
delivered across many devices, rather than the playback of content from a single 
device. However, there are significant challenges in realising such a vision, 
particularly around the management of synchronicity between associated media 
streams. This is compounded by the heterogeneous nature of user devices, the 
networks upon which they operate, and the perceptions of users. This paper 
introduces IMSync, an open inter-stream synchronization framework that 
incorporates human factors to capture the quality of experience (QoE). IMSync 
adopts efficient monitoring and control mechanisms, alongside a QoE perception 
model that has been derived from a series of subjective user experiments. Based 
on an observation of lag, IMSync is able to use this model of impact to determine 
an appropriate strategy to catch-up with playback whilst minimising the potential 
detrimental impacts on a users QoE. The impact model adopts a balanced 
approach: trading off the potential impact on QoE of initiating a re-synchronization 
process compared with retaining the current levels of non-synchronicity, in order 
to maintain high levels of QoE. A series of experiments demonstrate the potential 
of the framework as a basis for enabling new, immersive media experiences.

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