NAB PILOT Selects 12 Finalists in Innovation Challenge

WASHINGTON—NAB’s innovation initiative PILOT today announced the 12 finalists for its third annual PILOT Innovation Challenge. The challenge recognizes ideas for leveraging technological advances in production, distribution and display.

More than 100 ideas have been submitted to address the challenge question: “What is an innovative way broadcasters and other local media could serve communities?”

The finalists include:

  • AR Story Template — Retha Hill, Cronkite Innovation Lab, Arizona State University
    Provides a cost-effective way to create immersive AR stories quickly and without having to understand code.
  • Beam David Burton
    An AI mobile platform that enables users to build a personalized newscast using content categorically sourced from local television broadcasts.
  • Big Processing, Local Impact — Daniel Faltesek, Oregon State University
    Provides local news organizations with robust computing and data science capacity.
  • El Timpano — Madeleine Bair
    Spanish for “eardrum,” El Tímpano informs, engages and amplifies the voices of Latino immigrants using a community mic and SMS.
  • FlyRight Samuel Crane
    Software solution that streamlines drone flight registration for media groups and local law enforcement.
  • Immersive Disaster Effects Application (IDEA) — Ronald Baez, Yellow Wood Immersive
    An immersive and interactive 3D mapping tool for use by broadcasters to visualize the effects of weather emergencies.
  • Lawmaking Live — Terry Quinn, The Texas Tribune
    Provides live analysis of policy development and makes the law-making process more accessible to consumers.
  • Open Spaces — Amara Aguilar, USC Annenberg
    Allows users to engage on selected topics using social virtual reality.
  • Podium Daniel Lewis
    Provides a platform for the public to participate in virtual town halls and crowdsourced interviews.
  • VettNews Paul Glader
    VettNews is a ratings agency of news organizations and helps combat the rise of misinformation.
  • Voices of TwoOneSix — Mike Shafarenko, Ideastream
    An audio livestream that amplifies original content by underrepresented people in Cleveland.
  • Zagrut Mario Dcunha, The New School
    A news reader app that guides users against prevalent media bias.

A panel of five judges will choose the top six from these finalists. Participants at the NAB Futures conference, Jan. 27–29, in Seattle, will select first-, second- and third-place winners. The remaining participants will receive an Innovator Award at the event.

The six to be judged in Seattle also will be awarded cash prizes ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 — in part from a Knight Foundation grant. They will receive mentorship, access to broadcast executives and exposure at industry events, such as the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 6–11.

More information is available on the NAB PILOT website.

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Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.