Sky News Partners with AWS to ID Royal Wedding Guests

LONDON--As guests arrive at the Royal Wedding on May 19, Sky News will be using machine learning technology provided by Amazon Web Services and two partners to name guests and provide additional background.

Fans will be able to access the ‘Royal Wedding: Who’s Who Live’ via the Sky News app or via skynews.com (opens in new tab). The technology enabling this enhanced user experience and deliver this service at scale, is being provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and two AWS technology partners, GrayMeta and UI Centric. 

As guests make their way into St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, AWS will capture live video and send it to cloud-based AWS Elemental Media Services for multiscreen viewing optimization. An on-demand video asset, including catch-up functionality, will also be generated. In parallel, Sky is combining the GrayMeta data analysis platform with the Amazon Rekognition video and image analysis service for real-time identification of guests and tagging with related information.

[Read: AWS Elemental Launches Media Services]

Finally, Sky News is using the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network to unify the content for rapid distribution to viewers. UI Centric has designed and developed the front-end application and video player to enhance the experience and user interface accessed by Sky News viewers.

Keith Wymbs, chief marketing officer for AWS Elemental, the video division from Amazon providing the encoding and cloud services for the event, said that AWS has a long relationship with Sky, adding that the capability will give Sky some insight into the capabilities of machine learning.

“It’s really a way to explore what we can do in a more nimble environment where we don’t have to provide a traditional workflow where you’re bolting servers into a rack and dealing with all the related hardware,” he said. “This gives Sky an understanding for exactly how much demand is going to be there so they can do a lot more experimentation and be first to market with things that are exciting for the end user.”

Video content from the application will also be made available on demand after the event. 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.