Video Technology in Digitized Factories

BSc or MSc thesis

Video is a powerful medium that has penetrated many areas of private and professional life, from news and entertainment to learning and social communication. Companies are using video for various purposes, but especially in the producing industries there are many opportunities not seized yet. This might soon change, as digitization and datafication efforts in the realm of “Industry 4.0” advancements should incite companies to fully exploit its potential and integrate it into business processes where useful.

The aim of this thesis is to compile an in-depth overview of how video is already used in manufacturing environments today, and which novel approaches, practices and features researchers have proposed recently and could be exploited in the future. Technology affordances have been covered by literature of the computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) domain, a more technical view is archived by multimedia conferences and journals. Insights resulting from this thesis should be useful for companies who reflect upon their strategy in that regard.

Recorded content serves to provide instructions, for learning, documentation of work processes, for externalising knowledge by archiving and indexing meeting recordings, etc. For companies, extensive use of recorded video requires an infrastructure for capturing, managing, accessing and distributing the content.

Applications based on live content include virtual meetings with non-co-located colleagues or external collaborators, consulting with and learning from experts, and remote maintenance, to name a few. The ability to see each other and experience a telepresence effect, to allow for non-verbal communication in contrast to audio-only calls, as well as being able to show physical items and remotely inspect environments enables obvious advantages. Yet, there are also concerns (e.g. privacy related, labour law) and practical issues that prevent a wider adoption of such technology.

Apart from traditional 2D video, several new content formats and related devices for capture and playback have emerged and yet to be fully understood and exploited, including AR and VR or panoramic/360° video.

As a bachelor thesis, the aim of this work is to conduct a structured literature review of selected sources of CSCW and multimedia research and compile a categorized overview, synthesis and discussion with respect to several aspects of such technology.

As a master thesis, the scope of this topic extends to a series of interviews to be conducted with company representatives in order to understand their current status, needs, and reasons why or why not to pursue certain video technologies. Additionally, demos for video capturing, annotation, and sharing shall be prepared (scope to be discussed at master thesis time).

Contact:

Ass.Prof. Dr. Viktoria Pammer-Schindler, TU Graz and Know-Center, vpammer@know-center.at
Rene Kaiser, Know-Center, rkaiser@know-center.at

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Viktoria Pammer-Schindler
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