Chinese online entertainment service iQIYI, Inc. is pushing the boundaries of interactivity with two new features it says will help forge a stronger connection between viewers and the content they are watching.
The two new features on its domestic streaming platform – Heartbeat Mode and Revolving Bullet Comments (pictured) – as part of its efforts to enhance its viewers’ viewing experience.
Heartbeat Mode enables viewers to participate in exciting moments on screen by syncing their phones’ vibrations with on-screen actions. Meanwhile, the Revolving Bullet Comments technology allows bullet comments – text-based user reactions displayed on the screen as online videos play – to automatically orbit around specific characters in shows.
Heartbeat Mode first appeared in the service’s newly released show Moonlight, which stars Yu Shuxin and Ding Yuxi. According to iQIYI data, one specific scene in Episode 19, saw over one million users try the new feature, with an average of approximately 14 times per person. This adds up to over 25 million “heartbeats” in total and is equivalent to each viewer replaying the scene for seven minutes.
iQIYI’s tech team based the new feature on “Dance Mode,” a rhythm detection algorithm used last year in talent show The Rap of China 2020. Heartbeat Mode mimics heartbeats and will be available to more production teams as a plug-in, ready to be added to other shows during post-production.
Revolving Bullet Comments appeared in the latest iQIYI original reality show The Detectives’ Adventures, featuring a group of celebrities in live action role playing (LARP) games.
The Revolving Bullet Comments feature uses AI character recognition and portrait matting technologies to insert a dynamic background between the original background and the characters. The technology not only enables users to see the bullet comments as passing between the characters and the background (as opposed to on top of the characters), but it also prevents issues such as stuttering and shaking, which distract from the viewing experience.
According to a recent report from the China Netcasting Services Association on the development of China’s online video industry, close to half of the total online video viewership actively engaged with the content. For instance, of all viewers, 44.6% would click “Like” on the materials they appreciated; 27.9% read the bullet comments; and 24.1% shared content via social media. Furthermore, the research indicates that the younger, more educated generations were among the most active in interacting with the content.