News from Gotuit: The company has just announced a deal with Sports Illustrated to power the 2007 NFL Draft FilmRoom feature. Gotuit has essentially created a video database of Draft candidates’ top college plays. If you visit FilmRoom you can search for players by name, position or school and then watch mini highlight reels of touchdowns, passes, blocks, etc.
This is a very cool application for football fanatics, but it’s even more interesting to me for its potential across the landscape of online video.
Gotuit considers itself an online video publisher and will work with businesses in a number of different ways to make video on the Web engaging. In a situation like the SI deal, Gotuit encodes and transcodes video for the Web, adds massive amounts of metadata, and then provides the publishing and sharing tools to create a dynamic, semi-personalized application.
Forget sports and pop culture. (Okay, no doubt that’s where the money is, as Gotuit knows.) Imagine the research and reference possibilities. Catalogs of war footage. Undersea film explorations. Broadway shows. Throw Tara Calishain at this and I bet she’d go nuts.
Here’s the catch, though. The metadata is all created manually. Gotuit tried automated solutions and they just weren’t good enough. It’s the problem of the so-called last mile in video search. Algorithms will get you broad results, but fine-tuning needs that human touch. Definitely a scalability problem. Luckily for Gotuit, there are plenty of applications like the SI one that make manual tagging feasible.
I covered more on the business side of Gotuit last December with the launch of SceneMaker. Apparently at the time I thought Gotuit should license the platform to ESPN. Prescient, moi?
*Disclosure: I work for Motorola, which has invested in Gotuit. However, I discovered Gotuit before I learned of Motorola’s connection.