Accessible entertainment isn’t often easily accessible. The mainstream entertainment industry doesn’t cater to people who can’t see or hear well; people with PTSD, autism or epilepsy; or those who are learning English as a second language. These population segments can become isolated, and then marginalized when they can’t enjoy the latest feature film – even if it has subtitles – or best-selling book.
Wenebojo is a new streaming service designed to help solve that challenge with bookcasts. A bookcast is an immersive experience that combines audio narration, pictures and closed captioning. Packaged for easy consumption, each short story or series of episodes is available on demand on a smart TV, tablet, phone or computer.
Wenebojo, named for a mythical Native American storyteller, is designed to be inclusive, and transition people from television to reading. Bookcasts are accessible to people of all abilities, and as such the platform is a mashup of entertainment and a social initiative.
Piracy protection: Keeping the intellectual capital in bookcasts secure
The Wenebojo parent company, Solitaire Interglobal (SIL), is a predictive performance service provider and has been doing complex modeling since 1978. This year, SIL will do well over a quarter billion security and performance models and we have literally trillions of data points that show us where security breaches occur, what platforms they cluster around and the conditions surrounding breaches. We know the impact of security breaches, how much it costs, what gets lost, how long it takes to recover and so on.
Wenebojo is a disruptive technology and there is no acceptable risk profile for data loss or variability in delivery of service. To support the Wenebojo bookcasts, SIL chose IBM Z on Cloud, paired with the IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services solution and built on the IBM LinuxONE platform.
Being able to keep both client data and the intellectual capital of the writers secure is a big thing. There’s so much pirating of intellectual capital that we needed something that was going to be as hacker-proof as possible. We also needed to fit a fairly complex architecture, because we need the ability to scale based on what side of our system is being stressed, whether it’s the streaming back end or the customer-interfacing travelogue front end. We ran a huge number of models to determine what the impact was and what the risk factors were. We determined that we couldn’t find the support we needed anyplace other than IBM Z on Cloud.
Scaling the experience: Handling expected platform growth
For PTSD sufferers or those with epilepsy, Wenebojo is a godsend because there are no big explosions and no triggers. For those learning English, putting something that reads to them and displays the full, correct text as it goes along helps them learn to read. This is proving to be very important for English-as-a-second-language (ESL) students, because even the best ESL programs can’t build vocabulary like intriguing stories can.
Bookcasts are better than books on tape because we created it in such a way that a commuter can click on the bookcast and their 20-minute commute is exactly one chapter. Or if you’re waiting in the doctor’s office, you can play something that’s very short. They’re also the perfect length for a bedtime story.
We have predicted that Wenebojo will grow and keep growing for at least seven years before it levels off, so we need the platform to be scalable. We can’t wait six months to put in a new machine. And with the IBM Cloud, we don’t have to. We call up IBM and say, “We need to expand. We just got this influx of people.” And they’re able to get everything up and running in less than a day.
We’re seeing interest from a variety of potential customers, including prison systems, school systems and hospitals. With IBM, we’re ready for rapid growth as more and more people begin to stream Wenebojo bookcasts.
Read the case study for more details.
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