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Technology / Emerging Technology

The Royal Wedding: Brought to you by AWS and Machine Learning

As spectators from around the world prepare to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot at Windsor Castle this weekend, Sky News has teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS); enhancing its delivery of the event like never before with machine learning capabilities.

The broadcaster has developed a new live element to its mobile app; ‘The Royal Wedding: Who’s Who’,  which will  identify and highlight A-List celebrity guests as they arrive and appear on screen, using machine learning to deliver details about their connection to the Royal Couple.

“We’re excited by the software’s potential and ability to give audiences new ways of consuming content,” David Gibbs, Director of Digital Sports and News Products at Sky, said. “Sky continuously searches for ways to innovate and bring better coverage to its customers. This new functionality allows Royal Wedding viewers greater insight into one of the biggest live events of the year, wherever they are.”

Users of the app will be able to navigate through the app in self-guided, hands on experience for each celebrity spotting; keeping the main visual content on screen without moving away from the app.

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To make this a reality Sky teamed up with AWS and its various partners, including GrayMeta and UI Centric, to deliver a video feed from a broadcast van will capture the faces of guests as they arrive.

The video processing will be handed by AWS Elemental MediaLive Serivce, which will then feed a signal from the van outside St George’s Chapel to an AWS Elemental appliance for real-time ingest to a cloud-based workflow. GreyMeta data analysis will then be combined with Amazon’s Recognition video and image service, to bring real-time identification of celebrities; tagged with related information.

“We’re excited to have helped Sky News successfully build and deploy ‘The Royal Wedding: Who’s Who Live app,” Alex Dunlap, General Manager at AWS Elemental, said. “The high visibility and unpredictable audience size for this type of event made AWS cloud services, including those for media, a great solution by giving Sky the ability to test quickly, only pay for what was used, and produce a reliable, high-quality experience in a matter of weeks.”

Sky News also plans to use the AWS Elemental MediaPackage service for live-to-VOD applications, such as Catch up TV.

Guests of the Royal Wedding will begin arriving from 9:30am GMT this Saturday, continuing until the start of the ceremony at noon.
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