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The future of video is interactive

Podcasts and Audio | 07.03.2017

Introducing Kineo’s stream of thought - our monthly podcast that features informal chat from the Kineo team about all things L&D. Hear our latest thinking and be inspired by ideas from our experts.

Join us for our first episode where we talk about all things interactive video. Find out what it really is and how you can make the most out of interactive video within your business.

Paul Westlake  0:00  

Hello and welcome to Kineo Stream of Thought. I'm Paul Westlake solutions consultant at Kineo. And today we're going to be speaking about interactive video. So let's introduce the people joining me today.

Krista Woodley  0:18  

I'm Krysta Woodley. I'm one of the leading consultants in the consultancy and design team.

James Cory-Wright  0:23  

I'm James Cory Wright, Head of  Learning Design,

Liz Smith  0:26  

I'm Liz Smith, lead lead solutions designer working in the bids team.

Pete Smith  0:31  

I'm Pete Smith, I'm the technical team leads on the learning content team.

Paul Westlake  0:36  

Thanks all. So I guess the obvious place to start is by defining what we actually mean by interactive video.

Krista Woodley  0:42  

I think we mean by interactive video, any kind of video that you can interact with to make it to do something else, I think we're all used to video that you can watch passively, play, pause. But to me interactive video means something that's got layers, or that you can control in some way to make it go in different direction.

Liz Smith  1:03  

So you affect the course of what's happening by the actions that you take. And also, I think it has to be within the frame of the video itself. And so I think maybe previously, we might have had video and then an interaction following that in a kind of standard elearning format. But when I think of interactive video, I think of everything being wrapped up together, and the interactions and the video being being with each other.

Paul Westlake  1:26  

So rather than the interactive video being an element within a traditional piece of learning, yeah, the video is the learning.

Liz Smith  1:32  

Yeah, just that the interactions are taking place within the frame of the video itself. I think that's the kind of key thing. Okay,

Paul Westlake  1:38  

so would that mean a sort of traditional branching video where we just makes a choice, it goes on a different direction? Do we see that as being interactive, or we go further than that?

James Cory-Wright  1:47  

That is interesting. Yeah. But the, the the recent advances in advertising and marketing have sort of led to a different kind of interactive video where you can also click on embedded hotspots within the video and click through to other events and other media and other content.

Paul Westlake  2:06  

So give me some examples, so when would we use thi?

James Cory-Wright  2:09  

it's about interactive videos. So it's when you would need to play to the strengths of both the video and the interactive element of it to create a kind of third dimension or something that's greater than the sum of its parts

Paul Westlake  2:22  

by showing a certain topics. And this box particularly well, with waterpoint, we've seen anything where we thought, you know, it just doesn't suit.

James Cory-Wright  2:29  

yeah, if you if you want to show some, just think about the video for a bit. So first of all, you want to show something, say has a perception. Maybe you want to show a behavior. You want to show scenarios, you want to do reconstructions, you want to dramatize something, if you want to show a skill or a process using a fly on the wall or documentary style video, then that makes sense to use the video part of it. If you also want to make that sort of stick? Well, then obviously you and you believe that you can do that by getting people to engage. And it follows if you make it interactive, that's going to be that much more sort of sticky. And so the combination than the video and interactivity is a no brainer, you go for

Paul Westlake  3:19  

in some cases the video is still learning. But could we fit an interactive video piece within a piece of traditionally learning and you know, maybe it's a quiz at the end or the test, if you like the challenge?

Liz Smith  3:32  

Yes, that's an A. So it might be some cases where you want to have a knowledge elements separately. So that could be a more traditional learning base. And then you want to test that and see if people can apply that to a scenario. And then you might use the video. In that case, to do a challenge, you might switch that on its head to the challenge first and get people to have a go to play around with a video. I think interactive video is great for exploring consequences and different options. And like Krista was saying, you can see how you can affect the action by doing different things. And it doesn't necessarily have to be the right thing that you do, you can it's a really good learning point to do the wrong thing. And then see what happens in the interactive video, you might then go on to some more traditional learning, find out some more information and go back and do a further challenge at the end or perhaps even come back to your original video and be able to kind of navigate your way through it more successfully. So wants to find out a bit more.

Paul Westlake  4:26  

So picking up on on that bit. So traditionally, when we've used one of the traditional models we're using to show someone and it will test them so she tests me. And going back to some of the changes I know about some of these hotspots. So can we use those in different ways to do exactly that may be at the same piece of video where one? I'm assuming these hotspots don't have to be hidden all the time. And it could be it could we do that in a sort of show me test me to style?

Liz Smith  4:48  

Yeah, so let's say it was something like hazard perception. They could be the first time they're kind of shown to you and you explore the different hazards that are in the scene, and maybe the second on the second time. Go back to the video, the hot spots are hidden. And then you have to kind of work out for yourself that it were the different has apply or something like that could be applied.

James Cory-Wright  5:09  

And I think the thing to remember is you can do scoring all the way through, which is something that's relatively new as well, which means that introduces the whole idea of gamification. So you can use interactive video to produce the gamified content. Because you can have, you know, scoring, you can have levels, you can have people sort of going back up going off into different places, and so on and so forth. So I think in the end, we'll see a lot more games style interactive video. In other words, almost like video games, but not graphical, but actually made with real video footage,

Paul Westlake  5:46  

Pete, if I could bring you in at this point. So I think when we talked about when, when much section of video is, it's quite broadband heavy. And you know, I'm probably not going to consider, I guess, we go back to this idea of you know, you see the buffering. So I'm used to see every time and wait for a video that that goes completely flies in the face of what we're talking about. With it being engaging and interactive. I don't want to click on something and wait. So how can we work around those concerns when we're designing interactive video,

Pete Smith  6:13  

it's a really important point among which we need to get right because you're absolutely right. There's nothing more frustrating for the user than having a video stop partway through and rebuffer. So that's really where we need to make sure that we do have enough bandwidth. So it's not always going to be the right solution. Video is still more bandwidth heavy than a really lightweight course for them delivering some of the PDF that they could read offline, there are still instances when it isn't going to be right however nowadays, Wi Fi is much more prevalent, people generally have better connection. Certainly, if you're talking about a UK based audience, we've got much, much more bandwidth available to play with than we used to. And at the same time, the technologies got better. So modern codecs are very, very good at compressing video and delivering really very small videos, very low bit rates, video to users quickly and efficiently. So there are lots of things that you can do if you're a bit worried about bandwidth. And that you should do in terms of you can have a bandwidth sniffer up front. So you can check people's bandwidth and display the appropriate some rates rated video size of videos that user

Paul Westlake  7:27  

is that is that a way that likes of Vimeo and that work where they know if you're on a 3g or shown Wi Fi and they play the same video but a different quality levels? Is that the point?

Pete Smith  7:37  

exactly, so you can have an auto detects and some sitting behind the scenes, you'd have a high quality, a medium quality and low quality video, as you just play, whichever one you detect is the best one to deliver to that user so that they get the optimum experience

Paul Westlake  7:51  

is interesting, because they think there's more and more we talk about video, the push seems to be for higher and higher. 4k video, everyone's got 4k video on their phone in their pocket now. And I was read an article last week and they're saying there's no 8k video just launched in in Japan. And yet, the flip side of that is you have to watch the news now. And it's people streaming stuff back from their camera phone, it's totally acceptable to watch that. And let's face it years ago, no one would have accepted that quality. So it's a bit of both, isn't it?

Pete Smith  8:18  

It is yes, I mean, people are used to that low quality video stream, especially if they're looking at things in the smallest screen, you don't need huge high definition to get your main message across and make a video which is engaging. And at the same time. If you look at the content, if you optimize your content, your bandwidth, it's something which say a talking head video is much less bandwidth intensive than something which has got lots of movements in the background. So again, if you can optimize your content and make sure you've got as many static pixels in the frame as possible, that makes it easier to compress the video much further. So you can get public searchable video downloads 350 250 kilobits per second your subject

Liz Smith  9:03  

and I think it depends on again, the content of what you're trying to get across as well and the landing message so for say for an introduction to accompany a theory, the selfie style videos where it's kind of talking heads introducing you to different people that work there would be perfectly acceptable. Whereas if you're trying to show a fully fledged kind of drama situation, it make it comparable to EastEnders, then, obviously then you need to have a bit of a high quality so I think we also consider the quality of the video in relation to what we're trying to say. 

Paul Westlake  9:35  

How does that process work? So as a learning designer, you've got an idea in your head of here's a list of outcomes that I want to try to achieve here's what I want to use to get to at the end. What What do when do you see something and think a video would be a good fit for this or is it more that the client says I want to use video I'm good I'm I'm guessing we're not pushing everyone down interactive video route for everything.

Liz Smith  9:58  

No and like people that not Suitable for every single situation. But I think upfront when you're looking at subject matter what it can be, you know, as Jay was saying kind of behavioral skills are a key one things you want to show rather than see, if you're doing a course on body language, you know, you're going to show that 100 times a year in a video than you are with just pictures of words, you know. So it's thinking about what you're trying to show. And then also, I think the engagement of the audience group as well, like, who is the aim that? How are they going to be kind of accessing and taking the learning on board and its video, something that's really going to kind of appeal to them and fit in with them?

Krista Woodley  10:36  

I think certainly just taking that point. I think certainly, in the last few years, I think we would have had an approach where we think actually, you know, this audience isn't right. For interactive video, they wouldn't be comfortable with it. I think increasingly recently, everybody is comfortable with video, video is just such a boom, everybody uses YouTube to learn how to do things. I don't think that we're in the same situation that we used to be where we would think it's not right for that audience. I think certainly there are technical situations environments where it's not right. But I think, I don't know, if you're finding that your job increasingly, we expect people to be open to video. And increasingly, even because as James is saying interactive videos coming into marketing people using it on their websites, is part of the kind of cultural vernacular we use to interact with getting used to interacting, and we certainly used to video,

Paul Westlake  11:29  

do you think there's still a perception though, that the second we say, or the second, we mentioned video, in any solution, we've just put cost up four times. And there's a perception of it, when video is just so expensive, we can't go down that route. So how it firstly is that the case is videos as expensive as people would have you believe.

Liz Smith  11:48  

 I think when people think of the cost of video they think of the really high end, as we were saying, you know, the fully fledged drama situations, multiple actors multiple locations maybe and of course, all of those things are going to keep adding to the cost. That means you have to fill more and more. And sometimes with interactive video, I think people also might make an assumption that that's branching video, which it doesn't have to be but again, then you would be filming more, because you'd be showing multiple routes through. So I think people have a cost in mind of that higher end video. But as we were saying, There's tons of things we can do that aren't on that, on that scale, that are kind of lower cost, but still, like really perfectly acceptable to get the message across. And so we thought video is one example of that, that we use quite a lot, where people literally just do films on their mobile phones, you know, and just themselves talking about all their colleagues talking about who they are, you know, their experience of working at that company, and so on. And they've been really well received by learners going through our courses.

Paul Westlake  12:50  

That's really interesting.  We maybe just take a step back and look at how the process works then. So from what you just said, There, I can come to you with a piece of video. So in layman's terms that hasn't been shot as an interactive video, this video we make interactive, is that right? Yeah,

Liz Smith  13:05  

that's right. And and another great thing about that is we can then use, say, our own marketing or advertising videos that you already have the copyright to and that you own, you could share those with us. And then we can make those interactive. So as far as adding that technology in, we can work with what you already have, which again is another great kind of cost saving option because you're taking out that whole cost of a video shoot. And you're just doing the kind of development work the design work that's needed to turn that into an interactive piece.

Paul Westlake  13:35  

So just you mentioned earlier about hotspots. And Liz just said they're about taking sort of standard video and laying over things over a bit what can we lay over that? What else can we do with interactive other than hotspots?

James Cory-Wright  13:46  

The other thing we can do we can use the graphical techniques to for example, show what people want Sherlock on TV is the big leader in that. And you watch Sherlock, you're watching the film, but there's also loads and loads of graphics going on showing what people are texting, what people are emailing to each other what people are thinking, what people are saying who you can't see, you can put all this sort of graphic, bring all this graphical dimension into the video, as well. That's one example.

Paul Westlake  14:17  

Okay, video within video, and then

James Cory-Wright  14:20  

video within video when you click on the hotspot. And within the video, it can take you to another video, which is completely different. It can take you to an animation, you can click through two pieces of learning content.

Paul Westlake  14:34  

So the video itself could be as a container, if you like an engaging container. And then within that we could have you've already said some sort of quizzes, questions, other pieces of video all wrapped up together in that one thing that the learner themselves are sort of sort of navigating so it all ties in to what was discussed before about sort of gamification piece about you know, users tell us that they want to be in control, they want to go where they want to go, they want to add input into it, rather than feel like they're being led along the line. I know, in reality, they probably are. But if we don't make them feel like that, they're probably going to be more engaged with it

James Cory-Wright  15:11  

Or you engage in so much in the story that you're telling in the film or the video that you don't really notice that you're being slightly guided as you go along. Yeah, you mentioned I mean, the video itself can be is like a moving menu of things as it progresses. Because modern interactive video means you can sort of launch anything you like, from within the video itself, it can then act as a kind of menu for a whole chunk of learning. So we've just been doing some ID work with a piece of drama based interactive video, which Krista has been working on.

Krista Woodley  15:49  

Yeah, I mean, to give you a rough outline of how it works, and it's a, it's a video drama, that takes people through their first week in the workplace. So it's for new starters, so, you know, ideally placed for graduate recruits or apprentices. And, and you follow the drama. And as James was saying earlier, and it has this element of gamification. So if you're, you go through it, you're supposed to be clicking invisible and visible hotspots to access these other assets, all of which can gain you points. If you miss opportunities, and you kind of start lagging behind on the point scoring, then you drop down into a different video stream, which is less favorable, where in the drama people are lesshelpful and friendly, o

Paul Westlake  16:32  

That's seamless for the end user?

Krista Woodley  16:33  

Yes, you but you do you get that sense, you get that sense that this place isn't as kind of as helpful and sunny as it was when I was doing well. So it you know, it's that idea of behavioral consequences that Liz was mentioning earlier, it's a really, really good world in which you can play out those consequences, as well as exploring as you go, which is, I think, a really, really nice neat idea around the idea of starting work. Because when you start working, you are exploring and sort of just testing things out as you go along when you get to do this as you go along in the drama.

James Cory-Wright  17:09  

There's nothing better than learning from your mistakes and one of the great things about interactive videos that enables you to, you know, create an environment better, which could be because you filmed it can be completely realistic. But within which you can make mistakes.

Paul Westlake  17:23  

And you can step back as well, if you wanted to do it that way and let people have another go or make it plays out. This all sounds pretty high end, Pete. So do we need like a high end machines for that we need decent desktops or because I'm thinking a lot of cases Bring Your Own Device thing going on. So is this stuff going to play out on the iPads and tablets.

Pete Smith  17:42  

But we took a decision when we started working with interactive video specifically to not lumber ourselves with old browsers and old software. So we've targeted this specifically at the Evergreen browsers. And so IE 11 and edge, latest versions of Firefox and Safari and Chrome, and the mobile operating systems, the very latest version of iOS.

James Cory-Wright  18:08  

So can we run the interactive video on all the devices that are out there?

Pete Smith  18:15  

There are lots of old devices out there! So no, you certainly...

Paul Westlake  18:18  

You can't run it on your Gameboy James!

Pete Smith  18:21  

Or on an old Nokia 77. So yeah, modern smartphones, if it can run the latest version of iOS or a modern version of Android, then it can run interactive video.

Paul Westlake  18:33  

And if it takes one step further thinking about l&d professionals. Now obviously, as an l&d person, I've always wanted to know exactly who's done the course, how far through the course how well did they do? Traditionally, when we put video on an LMS? It's, did this person click play? Yes or no? And that's basically it. Can we go further than that with interactive video? Do we get a better understanding of who's done what

Pete Smith  18:55  

You can do potentially. And as always, when we're talking about anything e learning, then we always come back to the same conversations about the various API's for tracking performance. And so where people are using an LMS, which still relies on one of the claims of SCORM, then you are still restricted to the main things that you get with SCORM. So you can build interactive video that will post back all the normal data about responses to questions and something scores and an idea of completion, all of our old friends. And if you've got something which will work with x API, then obviously you've got a lot more scope to come up with a lot more feedback on that.

Paul Westlake  19:32  

Where do we see this going next? So we've described a lot of where we are today. And by the way, where we are today is seems leaps ahead of when we initially started using video, which was put in a you know, play a play button and a video within a course. But where would we like to see this going?

Liz Smith  19:49  

I think as we see, virtual reality devices become more prevalent on the market, then that's going to become a consideration. So we've started exploring the possibilities of things like 360 degree video where you can film things and have a camera that fills every single angle, and then be able to potentially explore that area and then bringing that into the interactive video as well. It's something that is in the future, but it's something that we've kind of started to explore.

Paul Westlake  20:15  

That'd be really nice for something like a security guard doing a travel path runner, for example, you know, I'll be spotting the things around them and are they interacting with them.

Liz Smith  20:24  

We could use for a security course or maybe crisis management or you know, something like that, where people really have to see have to look around their entire environment, find clues, look for things and then potentially use that to kind of solve the situation.

Paul Westlake  20:37  

And I guess that sort of thing that's longevity to it as well. I feel like when you go through the Mario games you can get from point A to point B quite quickly. But then you haven't collected, you know, most of the coins, you haven't been to a lot of the different areas etc. 

Liz Smith  20:49  

Yeah and I think it makes an experience a lot more exploratory and a lot less linear, which is a really nice way to do it so that you could go through and you know, to get to the end, as we said, you might not go on the perfect pathway, you know, you might you would get to the end but you wouldn't have picked up on all the things that you were supposed to have seen and then potentially, you could go back and find those again, they could be pointed out to you or or repeated back in the feedback.

Paul Westlake  21:18  

If you'd like to find out more about interactive video, you can download our latest guide Lights, Camera, Interaction from our website, but also keep an eye on our blog posts.


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Your speakers are


James Cory-Wright

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James has over 25 years' experience of instructional design and video scriptwriting. He previously headed up our team of learning designers and consultants, overseeing learning content design across all client projects.

Krista Woodley

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Krista has been in the elearning industry for over 15 years and is a Learning Consultant at Kineo. She advises and defines creative solutions for blended, campaign-based and elearning-focused projects.

Liz Smith

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Liz is a Lead Solutions Designer, working with our solutions consultants to create innovative designs for our proposal offerings. She has worked at Kineo for 11 years and has a background in creative writing.

Paul Westlake

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Paul was previously a Solutions Consultant at Kineo.

Pete Smith

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As a Technical Team Lead, Pete manages our team of Senior Technical Consultants and Front End Developers as well as taking accountability for the technical robustness and suitability of Kineo’s elearning and learning content. Pete also helps drive forward technical innovation working with our Technical Director and Head of Innovation to identify new opportunities for Kineo to branch into. Pete has a key role in the development of our Adapt framework and technical roadmaps for our proprietary tools and development.

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