Digital Narratives From Microsoft Research

The Microsoft Rich Interactive Narratives (RIN) project aims to combine traditional forms of storytelling with new visualization technologies to create compelling interactive digital narratives. Experience sample narratives created using the technology at http://www.digitalnarratives.net. The RIN project is an undertaking by MSR India in collaboration with the Interactive Visual Experience group in MSR Redmond and the MSR External Research group. RIN supports a large number of media formats; standard audio and video formats, text, as well as the new formats such as Microsoft® Photosynth™, Deep Zoom™, etc. New visualization formats can be incorporated by adding dynamically-loadable plugins.

Technology

The Rich Interactive Narratives (RIN) technology consists of:

  1. The RIN Data Model – a structured, extensible, and platform-independent representation for narratives (it’s XML manifestation can be considered a kind of “HTML for RINs”)
  2. A Silverlight RIN player
  3. Silverlight plugins for “foundational Experience Streams”, each of which brings a specific visualization experience (such as maps, panoramas, Deep Zoom images) into the realm of RINs
  4. Authoring tools to create RIN content

While we have invested in a Silverlight player and plugins, there is nothing in the technology that precludes creating a player and plugins for other platforms, such as HTML5/JavaScript.
RIN is prototype technology. The RIN technology has its origins in the “Sri Andal Temple project” in 2008. The temple demo featured an application that led users through an immersive, interactive, narrated walkthrough Photosynth‘s and HD View stitched images of a temple in Tamil Nadu (video). Several core RIN concepts such as “Experience Streams” and “Generalized Trajectories” originated in that project.
Keep checking www.digitalnarratives.net for updates. You can find details about the RIN technology at http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/rin/

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