Revitalizing planetarium facilities and creating “gathering places” through coupling high-presence video projection with ICT technology
In 2020, Konica Minolta, Inc. (“Konica Minolta”) and Konica Minolta Planetarium Co., Ltd. started the Connected Dome business. This is a new business offering diverse cinematic experiences in a dome space through building Connected Dome Library, a next-generation video projection service platform for dome theaters. It is a groundbreaking initiative to promote the revitalization of planetariums and other facilities and the creation of “gathering places” based on the distribution of high-presence video content.
The Connected Dome Library assumes a key role as the “base for the transmission of planetarium information” in this business. It was the first commercial service using cloud computing for Konica Minolta’s planetarium business. “Vast knowledge of commercial service development” as well as “flexible responses” was needed to launch the service in a short period of time.
Realizing architecture that supports 4k × 4k high-definition video data and a mechanism to protect content tailored for individual cases of usage
NTT DATA MSE (“MSE”) took charge of the development of the content distribution cloud service, Connected Dome Library, which was the first for the Connected Dome business.
In the system development, architecture that can support the content of 10 GB or more is necessary as it has to deal with high-definition data at the planetarium. During development, there were few similar cases, and the cloud platform (AWS) experienced multiple issues intrinsic to such a data size. However, we found solutions to all the issues and realized the quality required for such a service.
Also, by utilizing a third-party DRM* service and AWS functions in combination, we built a system that automatically protects uploaded content with DRM, thereby realizing a content protection mechanism to meet individual applications such as streaming and download playbacks.
*DRM: technology that manages the copyright of digital content
Man-hours reductions and audience repeat rate improvement at theaters realized at the same time by building an efficient video distribution system
When a planetarium put new content on screen, it was necessary to set the automatic projection program at each theater, which required many man-hours to prepare. The development of Connected Dome Library has enabled easy content distribution, thereby drastically improving operational efficiency. Thanks to this cost-reduction effect, theaters are now able to better organize program content, which in turn has led to improved audience repeat rates.
In addition, content preview, which could only be played back on a computer, can now be previewed in a theater in advance, enabling program selections by watching videos on the dome. This filled the gap of videos between the preview and a projection on the dome, resulting in the evaluation that the theater can now proceed with its content selection process more smoothly than before.