Xerox Tech Adds Analytics to Video Capture

Xerox researchers in India have developed technology that's able to analyze the contents of video and index it in a way that enables students to go immediately to the specific part of the recording they need for their learning. An Indian company that serves multiple universities has already licensed the technology for use in its video-based learning platform.

TutorSpace, as it has been named by multimedia analytics scientists at Xerox Research Centre India, is intended to turn instructional videos into "next-generation" textbooks. The technology analyzes the video content using multimedia imaging algorithms and generates a topic-based table of content and a list of keywords that capture the important concepts covered. Topics and keywords are hyperlinked with the video for ease of navigation. For example, when a user clicks on a given keyword in a word cloud, links will show up on the video timeline where that term is used.

As Om Deshmuk, a Xerox senior research scientist in multimedia analytics, explained in a video of the project, right now, the amount of instructional content available in video form online can be overwhelming to students. "If you just search on Google or YouTube, you'll find a ton of content — high quality instructional videos. But if I were to give all that instructional video content to a student and have him or her go through the entire content, the student is going to waste a lot of time."

The linking function acts as a table of contents or index to pinpoint where particular information exists in a video.

"That's where we believe our technology will help, in terms of making sure that the high quality education content is actually available and consumed by millions of students who will benefit from it and be able to consume it in a more efficient way," said Deshmuk.

Through machine learning TutorSpace also makes it possible to find content tailored to a student's learning patterns. As the company explained, if a student, after reaching the 10th minute in a video, repeatedly backs up to the fifth minute in order to watch the material again, the software will infer that the student needs help understanding the concepts presented in that section of the video and recommend additional content for viewing.

Now Xerox has licensed TutorSpace to education technology company Impartus for use in its e-learning products. Numerous institutions in India use the Impartus product to record, edit and distribute lectures, including Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai, the Jaipuria Institute of Management in Noida and other locations, and Manipal University. The company will be licensing and integrating the Xerox technology into its video e-learning solution to take advantage of its analytics and machine learning capabilities.

"There are enormous opportunities for educational institutions to improve the learning outcomes for their students via a more effective use of videos," said Manish Gupta, director of Xerox's Research Centre in India, in a prepared statement. "This partnership with Impartus reflects our belief in open innovation, and demonstrates how innovation can help expand access to education and personalized learning to anyone with access to the Internet."

Impartus anticipates that the new technology will surface in its product by mid-summer 2016; global rollout will follow. Xerox researchers are working closely with the company on the integration work.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.