MirriAd Wins Government Innovation Award and Secures Grant for New Project

12th January 2009, London, UK – MirriAd, the embedded advertising specialist, today announces it has been awarded a substantial grant fromthe UK Government as part of the Creative Industries Innovation Award

tech_strategy_large1The new funding, provided by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board, will be used by MirriAd and its partners, TelecityGroup and Apical, to develop VIDEOSENSE™, the world’s first tool for intelligent automatic video analysis, and

perfectly embedding brands (in context) into any online video.

The last ten years have exposed serious flaws in the industry’s approach to advertising, particularly online, where consumers have developed a very low tolerance for banners and pop-ups, which they routinely avoid and delete. Although MirriAd’s innovative embedded advertising solutions are already in use in Hollywood and Bollywood, and agreements are also in place with a range of key partners in the broadcast and content owner communities worldwide, this new project (which MirriAd co-funded) will mean the company now addresses all markets, including all online videos.

The grant enables the company to develop a solution that scans online video for suitable spots to automatically insert a branded image or advertisement, removing the complexity and need for advanced human skills and intervention. It is envisaged that the solution could be used to create an online trading community in which advertisers could select from a wide range of opportunities, provided by companies and individuals, to promote their brands.

Dr. Philip McLauchan, head of imaging technology at MirriAd comments; “This new technology essentially monetises video real estate. We will be offering advertisers space to insert their brand into video online that will then be played out over the Web with their brand inserted as if it was part of the original.” He continues; “Not only will it manage the online marketplace that advertisers will use, it will also be able to automatically insert a different brand reference depending on geography or demographic profile. This will allow advertisers to extend the revenue stream available for each piece of video.”

The solution will use NVIDIA’s Tesla™ GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) technology, which will increase the solution’s capabilities, and can be applied to graphics and financial services, along with high-performance computing tasks. Rob Coupland, Chief Operating Officer at TelecityGroup, the leading data centre provider in Europe, and the company that is developing the server cluster solutions for VIDEOSENSE, comments; “This collaboration with MirriAd provides TelecityGroup with a great opportunity to explore media content in high volume as well as to understand how high-performance computing clusters can be used to provide professional hosting services for our customers.”

In addition, Dr. Michael Tusch, managing director of Apical Limited, the imaging technology company whose products enhance the performance of electronic imaging devices, comments; “ Our technology is designed to render video content  as naturally and vividly as possibly, based on models of human visual perception. We are excited to explore how it can be used to enhance the realism of MirriAd’s embedded content in a live streaming application over the Net. ”

Mark Popkiewicz, MirriAd’s CEO added, “MirriAd successfully takes the concept of product placement, the only advertising format that can’t be skipped by the viewer, and delivers a scalable and adaptable advertising solution that can be applied to any content, at any time and in any market. The end result benefits all – content free from annoying distractions, audience specific brand placement and a new means to monetise video assets.”
’’The opportunities for MirriAd are enormous and this innovation award allows us to further develop our technology so that we can take advantage of all markets, including online.”

– Ends –

For further information please contact:
Katharine (K) Simon or Ian Hood, Babel PR
E.      MirriAd@babelpr.com
T.      +44 (0) 20 7434 5550
W.     www.babelpr.com

About MirriAd Limited
MirriAd seamlessly embeds advertising into any video content, as if it was always there. The company’s solutions allow content owners, whether film, TV or online, to effectively monetise their assets and deliver a means by which brands can capitalise on the worldwide shift from the analogue broadcast model to multi-platform, on-demand digital video delivery.

MirriAd is the first and only company that has the ability to embed advertising, words, images and interactive hyperlinks cost-effectively, in small and large volume digital content and to a high quality on any platform using its proprietary ZoneSense™, technology.

MirriAd, based in London with offices in NewYork and Mumbai, is funded by venture capital funds including London Seed Capital, Oxford Technology Management and South East Growth Fund and by private investors led by Seraphim Capital.
For more information: www.mirriad.com

MirriAd was recently named in Library House’s MediaTech top 100 list, which lists Europe’s hottest private media technology companies, likely to have the biggest impact on the industry.

About TelecityGroup plc
TelecityGroup is the leading premium provider of highly connected data centres in Europe, offering a range of flexible, scalable data centre and value added services. TelecityGroup specialises in the design, build, and management of highly connected and secure environments in which customers can house their technical, web and internet infrastructure. Each of its data centres acts a connectivity and content hub facilitating the storage, sharing and distribution of data, content and media. Headquartered in London, TelecityGroup operates 20 network independent data centres across seven European countries. The data centres are located in prime positions for commerce and connectivity, including Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Milan, Paris and Stockholm.

Telecity Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: TCY)

About Apical Ltd
Apical is a specialist technology company dedicated to enhancing the performance of electronic imaging devices. Its technology helps cameras see the world like eyes, and enables displays to render imagery with highest quality under different viewing conditions.
The unique performance of Apical’s products derives from underlying algorithms, Retina-Morphic Processing, developed by Apical and based on research into how the human visual system processes image information. With this technology, it is now for the first time possible for imaging devices to apply this same kind of image processing. The results, we believe, speak for themselves.

Apical brings together expertise in:
– Digital and analog signal processing
– Image analysis and processing
– Software development
– Hardware design
– Neurology, neuromorphic systems and neural networks
– Intellectual property and licensing

Apical Limited is a privately-held company based in central London, UK.

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