The consortium is interested in the development of multimedia brokering as a third party service to the publishing industry. The pilot will address nine areas identified as important in such developments. These include multimedia databases, image processing , image delivery, remote-proofing, just-in-time delivery, asset trading, and multimedia cataloguing. Effective brokering will require a highly standardised, inter-operable open information environment. This will need to be established between the equipment-base of client companies and the multimedia producers. The pilot will explore how such an environment can be created. It will also address relevant requirements in multimedia production, multimedia delivery, IPR, compatibility, security, information validation, training and the familiarisation of users.
The proposal takes nine areas where third party services to multimedia publishing are evolving. These areas are integral and critical to the development of the multimedia publishing industry. Without developments in the capabilities of service providers in these areas, publishers will not be able to develop their products and markets.
Each of the areas forms part of a cluster whose viability both commercially and as a target for funding under the information engineering programme will be explored during this feasibility study.
The feasibility study will specify how projects in this cluster can address and help overcome a range of problems in multimedia authoring, database creation, information retrieval, information distribution and information sharing. Such problems include: accessing multiple proprietary systems, browsing, dialogue and retrieval difficulties in large systems, multimedia indexing, authoring tools, image validation and calibration, skills training and user familiarisation, compression versus bandwidth issues, remote cooperative design and "proofing", standards for document construction and file transfer, IPR, billing, data management procedures, security, bandwidth availability and access requirements.
The project will assess the viability of the nine areas, and any additional ones suggested by the research, as pilot applications. This entails an assessment of user requirements in relation to brokering services; an assessment of the commercial viability of the areas following pilot applications; specifying the technical tasks that pilots would undertake; and proposing the most appropriate organisational and management structures to ensure the cluster meets the programme's objectives.