The Future of Video on the Web

We are in the middle of a big technological change for the dear old World Wide Web. And it will have a massive impact on how we are using video on the Web.

Not only is the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) defining an all-new HTML5 standard which will have a native video tag (just as current HTML4 has a native img tag).

The W3C is wondering how to go even beyond that onto a road that will make video a first-class citizen on the Web. Next week, a W3C Video Workshop will be held on that exact topic.

Funnily enough, when we described the aim of the Annodex project at CSIRO in the year 2000, we used those exact words: how to make video a first-class citizen on the Web. At that time, people thought we were crazy. Now that YouTube is a commonly accepted phenomenon, we can actually see the limitations of existing video technology on the Web: we can still not interact as naturally with video as we do with Web pages – we can still not search well for video – and we can still not mash-up video as easily as we do with HTML pages, e.g. through RSS feeds.

I will be travelling to the US next week to share our experiences on Annodex with the Web World and have my input on what the future of video on the Web should look like. To that end, I have submitted two position papers to the workshop – one on Temporal URIs and one on our experiences with Annodex and CMML. Check out the other cool talks on the agenda or even the full list of position papers that got submitted!

Also, I have just been asked whether I would like to be part of the “Future of Video and Next Steps” Panel on the second day of the workshop – a panel that has been very well selected to represent online and traditional video technology, content interests, and consumer interests. I am looking forward to a very lively discussion and a great overall workshop that may be the first step towards a better video web.

Video on the Web is still only at the beginning of its evolution – comparable to the evolution that film and movie theatres have gone through over the last hundred years. It’s awesome to be working on the next technology revolution and to see that the best is yet to come!

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