Is there anything more boring than a tired training video? When EIBTM, a European incentive and meeting industry exhibition, convened in Geneva in May, meeting technology observers got a hands-on demo of a promising new product called Throughlines, which turns canned video on its head.
Launched in January by New York City-based Static & Motion (www.static-motion.com), Throughlines is an interactive video platform that allows trainees to take a video presentation where they want it to go. The system combines a wireless audience response keypad system with a video presentation. “Instead of being passive viewers, the audience is requested to participate,” says Nils Huehnergarth, president of Static & Motion. “Video is scripted to set up certain hypothetical situations. At appropriate points, the video stops and viewers are asked to vote on their keypads” to determine the direction that the video should take. The answers are automatically tallied and the video continues, following one of several scenarios, depending on how the majority voted.
Considering its far-reaching possibilities to engage meeting attendees, EIBTM judges selected Throughlines for the show's third annual World Wide Watch presentation, a keynote by a company deemed to have an “innovative technology development or product breakthrough that will have the most significance within the meetings, incentive, and business travel industry.”
Static & Motion is marketing the technology primarily as a custom training tool, especially for topics that involve human interactions such as coaching skills, diversity issues, or sexual harassment. Inaugural clients have included CMP Media and Citigroup. The company is also looking at motivational and entertainment applications. “Throughlines makes the entire audience think like a team, then tracks how they think, both individually and as a group,” says Huehnergarth.
While Throughlines videos have been customized until now, the next step will be a library of training videos, as well as enhanced data collection capabilities, including specifics such as demographics or ZIP code information.