User Centric Media in the Future Internet
In the debate on how the Future Internet will look like, three powerful concepts drift to the surface, vying for attention: Users, Services and Content. Each of the three components presents itself as a powerful force that is able to explain recent evolutionary steps, and that claims the right to drive the Future Internet developments. The User-Centric perspective emphasises the end-user multi-sensory, embodied, active experience as the driving force for all technological innovation, observing how today the Internet is a network of active social users rather than a connection of devices. The Service-Centric view has roots in enterprise IT solutions as well as in the Web 2.0 mash-up culture, showing how valuable applications can be built faster and more efficiently if service components can be reused in flexible ways. The Content-Centric view refers to the central role that rich media content, including metadata of various nature, is playing in attracting users to Internet services, because content consumers are increasingly also content producers. It also refers to how the transfer of media content can impact the network operation.
This White paper on the User Centric Media reflects the consolidated opinion of the User Centric Media (UCM) cluster composed of representatives of ongoing FP6 & FP7 EU funded projects, under the aegis of the Networked Media Systems Unit of the Information Society and Media Directorate General of the European Commission.
Taking the end-users with their needs and desires as the initiating force for the design of the Future Internet and the applications it will support, in this paper we aim at describing our vision for the role of the UCM in the Future Internet, from a user-centric perspective.