Finding Clarity in the Complicated
In today’s world, videos are available anywhere, anytime, on any platform. They are so prevalent that we take it for granted that we’ll have access to high-quality video, without delay. Video distribution platforms try their best to transcode video to produce the best results for a variety of connections and devices so consumers have the best experience, but the reality is that video quality suffers. Without a reliable and scalable way to measure video quality, distributors are left in the dark about that consumer experience — not somewhere you want to be in a fast-moving, highly-competitive industry.
The current standard of determining video quality relies on “Golden Eyes.” It sounds like an impressive piece of technology, but it’s actually just a label for talented people who can detect, identify, and communicate their perception of video quality. Their feedback is used, along with quality of service and quality delivery measures, to correlate packet loss and signal noise to video quality. This approach doesn’t scale for the explosion of video consumption, which, according to Cisco, accounts for 73% of internet traffic. That’s where Waterloo-based company SSIMWAVE comes in. Their Emmy award-winning technology for video Structure Similarity (SSIM) takes into consideration the one measure that really matters — how the end user perceives the video. In fact, their technology brings the accuracy of hundred of thousands of human views to every step of the video delivery chain, allowing distributors to monitor and automate the optimization of every stream.
SSIMWAVE’s solution helps content distributors understand exactly what’s going on with video quality and delivery at every level of their operation. With this accurate measure, distributors can achieve real-world bandwidth reductions of 25–40 per cent and maintain a premium viewing experience. SSIMWAVE’s algorithms measure the overall quality of the incoming content streams from providers and the outgoing streams and then identifies the parameters that are causing problems. SSIMWAVE gives insight to content providers to help them identify everything from network issues that impact large service regions to the quality of a video stream dedicated to delivering a single channel to a mobile subscriber.
When we started working with SSIMWAVE in 2016 on their SSIMPLUS™ LiveMonitor product, we recognized immediately its potential. They had a very technical audience, and an unmatched understanding how video processing was done. While it was very compelling to technicians and researchers, it was also difficult for the average person to understand. We started to pull back the layers to get to the core of the product.
“[SnapPea] always starts a discussion with ‘Why’,”
-Dr. Abdul Rehman
In the beginning, we spent a lot of time with SSIMWAVE’s CEO, Dr. Abdul Rehman, as well as the engineers at SSIMWAVE. To bring clarity to the interface that we were trying to design, we needed to understand the algorithm and what they wanted to convey from the data that they collected. “SnapPea understood the technology enough so they could speak the same language with our team,” says Saj Jamal, SSIMWAVE’s VP of Marketing. With that common understanding, our team could break down the reams of technical information into the pieces that were meaningful and could communicate them to technicians, scientists, and management alike.
We transformed their UI — making information easier to digest and communicate. We helped to explain the value and complexity of their algorithms in ways that people could understand. It was important to the SSIMWAVE team that we exposed the data on a stream level, and we helped them aggregate the data into meaningful chunks on the market, region, and network levels, too. Understanding the range of people interacting with the product and their individual needs was important in the design, and ultimately, the clarity of the product. As Dr. Rehman put it,
“You helped bring clarity to the product features through the design.”
No matter how far you dig into the data, you get the same user experience. Giving the UI a consistent look and feel was important. Distributors have unique needs and they are using the tool in various ways, but, in the end, it is all the same tool. They need to be able to move seamlessly around the product to take full advantage of the data it can offer. As a senior executive of a SSIMWAVE client remarked,
“I can put this up on the screen in my office and I don’t need anyone to tell me how it works.”
The demand for video and the expectation for quality continues to grow and distributors must continue to evolve to meet these demands. SSIMWAVE is building the next generation of tools that distributors need — robust and adaptable tools to communicate, analyze, and understand video streaming quality. The technology they provide is revolutionary to the market and we are thrilled to be a part of the team that communicates their value to their users.
SSIMWAVE is defining the future of video delivery with the most accurate measure of how humans perceive video. With SSIMWAVE technology, video distributors, networks and studios can keep up with the explosive growth of video and deliver the ultimate viewing experience™ to consumers on any screen, anywhere. At the forefront of Viewer Intelligence™, SSIMWAVE™ is built on an Engineering Emmy® Award-winning algorithm.
SnapPea Design offers Product Development Services working with you and your team to design, build, problem solve, engineer, and create. They design beautiful things that can scale, be manufactured, and align with your business values — focusing on how people interact with your product, services, and the environment around them.