– Never despair - a crisis is an opportunity

Published 26.04.2020
Show & Tell is the most popular social arena and event for the Norwegian Media Cluster, only open to members, and showcases the latest innovations from the cluster members. For the first time ever Show & Tell moved online. One of the cases presenting was Scary Weather, a small startup highly affected by the corona crisis, but successfully shifted their focus to new markeds and opportunities.

Every four to six weeks NCE Media host a Show & Tell, known to be the most popular arena for members to mingle and meet, and where all the latest tech, ideas, solutions and products are discussed. Quite often the cases come “straight from the labs” and Show&Tell also gives members an opportunity to get valuable and early feedback and input from their peers in the industry on product development. This is also an event for new members to introduce themselves to the cluster community, and to showcase their innovations and ideas.

This time seven members of the Media Cluster family, located from Tromsø in the North to Stavanger in the South of Norway presented their cases. Several of the companies have completely turn around their businesses as a direct result of the corona crisis.

Corona changed everything

One of them is startup Scary Weather, a video content producer, aiming to turn facts into feature. After running the TV 2 weather for years together, Eli Kari Gjengedal and Ronald Toppe, both backgrounds as scientists, decided to pursue a new way of storytelling.

Can you really sell the rain in Bergen?
Turns out – you can! Scary Weather specializes in great storytelling, and in a collaboration with Visit Bergen, and several key institutions in the Bergen Region (Fløibanen, Bergen Aquarium, City of Bergen, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, and the composer Ole Hamre, as well as Media Cluster members BKK, Vil Vite Science Center and the University of Bergen), the idea to tell all the exciting stories about the rain became a reality. The project has interactive water installations, and explore all the science behind how the city copes in different ways with the massive amounts of rain. Scary Weather set out to make the Bergen rain an attraction for the thousands of tourists visiting Bergen every year.

If working in the Media Industry for years has thought us anything, it is that change happens

But the corona crises changed everything for this small startup. Tourism stopped completely and they quickly had to reorganize, shift focus and be creative. Just like many of the other cluster members Scary Weather are now providing totally new services. At the Show & Tell they shared their tools and methods on how to turn around their business model, shift their skills and be more flexible.

– If working in the Media Industry for years has thought us anything, it is that change happens – it is the normal – and we must be adaptable in our business models. Therefor we are offering new and different services now, working with new customers and have discovered new markets, says Ronald Toppe.

Part of the solutions for Scary Weather during the corona crisis became producing short and informal training videos for different groups and staff potentially being exposed to the corona virus on how to protect themselves. They have also produced other video for educational purposes and have made a podcast series in collaboration with medical staff where Eli Kari and Ronald engage in conversations – also with smaller children – on different corona related topics.

And finally - several of the churches of Bergen are now continuing their Sunday service online, courtesy of Scary Weather, now offering multicamera streaming set ups for the city cathedrals.

Have a look at one of the corona conversations featuring Ronald´s super charming grand daughter Mathilde (7): 

From Hollywood to Bollywood

Soundly, one of the latest additions to the Media Cluster, also presented at Show&Tell. Soundly provides an impressive and massive cloud library of sounds for absolutely all media needs. A powerful search engine on your local files, and an easy way to add sounds to your favorite tools, all in a smooth and easy operation.

With more than 50.000 different sounds to choose from, you should be all set. Collection of sounds from a kitchen? A jungle? A garage? They’ve got it. And of course – you just drag and drop! Utilizing artificial intelligence, related searches, auto-complete, thesauruses, and curated collections, Soundly helps you search, index and manage your local and cloud based libraries. Soundly makes discovering and designing sounds fun, easy, and creative.

Soundly offers a free three months introduction for other Media Cluster Members.

Empower your stories with charts and maps

Another resent edition to the cluster is Everviz, a spinoff from Highsoft, one of the key companies in the Media Cluster. Sharing your data through attractive, interactive charts and maps is now simpler than ever.

Everviz is an easy to use charting tool, now fully utilized during the corona outbreak, as journalists are in need of tools to visualize charts and maps to better illustrate their stories. You copy and paste or drag and drop data from your spreadsheet into your browser, and Everviz produces great visuals for your story. Every chart is intelligently re-configured to each visitor’s desktop, tablet or mobile screen size. This tool is targeting Journalists, researchers and content creators, and you do not need special technical skills.

Interactive and engaging

Zapp from Mediafarm is an impressive way to transform lengthy and monotonous training sessions or seminars and make the teaching and training an interactive and engaging experience. Mediafarm offers a new solution that simplifies distribution and makes support for the participant easy. The setup is quick and easy, and you will be able to be up and running in no time!

Photo: Annenita Bakker Schøyen, CEO Mediafarm, presenting at Show & Tell.

Take the online tour and check out how you can use the Zapp features to enrich your content.

Timing is everything

Motion Corporation (located in Tromsø) have been with the cluster for many years and are world leaders in technology for synchronizing across devices, using standard internet protocols. Their “Shared Motion” is a revolutionary concept. By making precise, distributed timing and control available as a cloud-based service, Shared Motion spurs a new wave of innovation and opportunity. This is especially important and useful in broadcast, advertising, entertainment and education.

From Show&Tell, the Online Edition: Njål Borch from Motion Corporation demonstrating how different players can be in complete sync using Shared Motion. 

Collaborative viewing is especially relevant now a days. Social distancing increases social needs. People are joining online platforms and communities and want to watch thing together. They are developing online viewing parties and are craving the experience of doing things together. But most platforms do not have built in sync support.

The timing is everything! When watching a game or a film together with friends or family you want everyone to cheer at the at the precise same time – not five seconds apart - when your favorite football player scores the perfect goal. You want to laugh at the same things, at the same time. And this can be easily solved with a Motion Corporation plugin, now featured in the NRK online player. Their service provides timing with accuracy of a few milliseconds, to all major Web browsers, enabling smooth and flexible user experiences across multiple-devices, networks, and platforms.

Say hello to Aurora

Norkring has been a digital pioneer in broadcasting, radio and television for the past twenty years, and are now working on the opportunities digitalization offers in both the media landscape and society as a whole.

From January 1, 2020 Norkring became a part of Telenor, and continues to deliver the same great services as part of Telenor Bedrift and Telenor Infra. The ambition to provide audio and video with the best quality of professional and forward-looking solutions are still the same.

Not long ago Telenor (Norkring) launched a smart storage tool for handling all types of media files. Aurora is a new MAM system and a hybrid cloud-based platform for content storage and retrieval. More and more video content is produced which can be of great value, but at the same time it is important to find the right clips quickly. Aurora gives you quick and secure access to all your content and allows others to access it. The solution is scalable and fits just as well for a smaller production company as for sports leagues, media houses and broadcasters.

The participants at Show & Tell got a live demonstration of this smart tool. Aurora is a platform with ingest, archive, storage and a simple user interface so you can access wherever and whenever you are. You can upload files yourself, and easily give others access to search and edit, browse in your browser or send files to a destination. 

The VR Home Office is here

Rainfall is your 360 video / VR expert, now transforming almost any form of meeting into a virtual experience. At the Show & Tell VR/AR Director Keith Mellingen demonstrated different VR platforms and solutions and how to utilize them. Forced to retreat to home offices, Keith started an event called VR Home Office allowing colleagues to meet and interact in a virtual space. Virtual drinks included. Keith also took the Show & Tell audience through the virtual cinema, popcorn and all, to watch films together with friends. But first and foremost the Rainfall Virtual Deck is a great tool for offering a virtual space for the participants to meet as the corona virus makes it impossible to meet physically. 

Rainfall are experts in VR interaction and can create many different virtual spaces where participants can interact with each other. There can be as many as 100 participants in the same VR "room". Rainfall can create a virtual office for your team, or create a conference where people can experience it virtually. 

Illustration, Virtual cinema.

Enjoy this video where someone is visiting the Rainfall Virtual Deck, and gets to experience 360 video and the virtual environment.

Next Media Cluster Show&Tell is May 28, also online. You can sign up today!