MCB Media Lab Sandbox

Published 20.03.2019
The Media Lab holds technical platforms and resources available to members; A wide range of different tech for all kind of purposes, as well as open data and APIs from cluster companies and international tech partners that students, startups, researchers, teams and project developers can use as their sandbox.

The Media Lab Sandbox is a technical platform for innovation, testing, prototyping and developing. Members of the Media Cluster have access to software from the Media Cluster companies, Enterprise Watson, APIs, Open data, NDI infrastructure and hardware resources at Media City Bergen. 

Software sandbox
The desire is to establish a solution for access to software and cloud-based solutions for AI and Storage - via partners - as well as a common data platform for collaboration and links between the cluster companies. The software-based sandbox will serve as a portal for the cluster's data and media streams, APIs and other open data sources, where access levels and business models can be directly applied.

This platform is provided by the media lab partner IBM, and it will be a complete Watson Data Platform that includes all libraries, storage and RedHat application servers, with enterprise license. The Media Lab as "owner" can provide access to sign up for cluster members exclusively. 

This portal is under construction, as are the governance and necessary judicial contracts.

Together with our Media Lab partners and the Norwegian Cognitive Center we will provide workshops and expert resources within AI/data science.

Lab as a demo
There is a need to showcase the Media Cluster products and solutions to visitors, founders, students, educational communities and other cluster members so that they become familiar with the technologies and solutions the cluster provides. This showcase can lead visitors to be inspired and to think creatively in connection with their own needs, customers, or solutions. 

This does not have to be solid studio solutions or installations that "compete" or match other offerings in the building or companies. This can be at an entry level. In principle, this is to better stimulate further dialogue or collaboration. We want to have a "show off" effect!
A visit to the MCB Media Lab should involve a WOW factor and give the impression that we are a forward-looking environment. We want all companies in the cluster, partners and associates to have demo of their solutions in the lab, with associated branding. 

Lab as a training platform
This creates traffic and meeting places, and will raise competence in the cluster. The lab needs to have equipment and technical setup that require minimal installations, that will prompt new ideas and solutions when people meet. 

There are enormous benefits to developing a sandbox not only in the Media Lab but in the building itself. When members point to a need for more rapid product development, the sandbox can contribute to faster verification, prototyping and testing. 

Companies, researchers and educational players are now invited to bring their own equipment, where they can further utilize the resources and equipment the lab.

The Media Lab is now equipped with lots of new tools and tech, including VR headsets, MovieMask, Holocap, IBM Watson, projectors, microphones, streaming equipment and more.

NDI infrastructure at MCB 
The aim is to look at Media City Bergen, the Media Lab and also campus UiB as a lab in itself, where our existing innovation platform in the media lab can then extend beyond our premises. This means opportunities for the professional content producers, technology companies, entrepreneurs and students. 

The entire MCB building will have inputs and outputs that can be used, based on governance and security schemas that is under development. Services span from using remote studio and production facilities, live broadcast points at MCB or UiB, signage systems, MCB exterior video wall, video wall in MCB Media Lab, green screen with AR camera systems, VR cordless setups also for virtual cameras in VR, Holocap for 2D and 3D, and streaming via MCB Media Lab channels from any NDI source in the building – all inputs/output interconnectable so signals can be transported to/from your facility via NDI. Next stage means also via cloud infrastructure, out in the world.

This will enable companies, students and entrepreneurs to combine company technology that normally only is available as high cost installations in the broadcast industry. 

This enables cooperation, and unleashes cluster potential within production technology, contribution and distribution. The Studio MCB is a central resource, because of its features as a full scale green screen studio, which can be utilized for many different purposes once it is connected to different outputs and inputs in MCB, and because of the existing agreements around shared use by key cluster companies.

It also means advanced productions can be made for output in Atlantis, the MCB exterior video wall and Media Lab without having to move or rent equipment. As a result, the Media Lab is even more relevant as a testing platform for the larger companies, and this means even small investments by the media cluster can complete advanced solutions. Studio MCB will together with the Expo Box support the role of the cluster in advancing the co-operation between academia and industry, and between established industry leaders and entrepreneurs and education.