AcuWeather's StormDirector+ gives new relevance to TV weather presentations.
StormDirector+ from AccuWeather puts control of the nightly weather presentation in the meteorologist’s touchscreen hands.
AccuWeather is going to showcase some new graphical presentation advancements in their StormDirector+ interactive weather system at the 2017 NAB Show, as they mark their 55th year providing life-saving weather information to local television stations around the world. Bill Boss, director of product development, display systems and services at AccuWeather said to The Broadcast Bridge in an exclusive pre-NAB 2017 interview.
“We debuted StormDirector+ last year, but this year at the 201 NAB Show we are focusing on template-driven presentations that let weather forecasters have all the information they need to communicate climate information at their fingertips,” Boss began.
He means “at their fingertips” quite literally , as the Interactive Touchscreen Solution controls of StormDirector+ integrate multiple inputs to deliver simultaneous videos such as high-resolution mapping and buildings, along with detailed weather conditions, in a way that appeals to digitally-savvy viewers.
“This lets you put together a different, dynamic-looking show every broadcast cycle without getting stuck in the kind of linear rut that most weather presentation systems get locked into,” Boss said. “Instead of a pre-determined rundown of images, the on-screen talent can select the graphic presentations that best tell the story as it is developing in real time. For example, if a rain squall has just begun to come on shore, he or she can jump to it ahead of the scripted order of events.”
Since StormDirector+ can display hyper-realistic 3D views of the forecast area exclusively available from AccuWeather, the presenter can rotate around the environment to show the most relevant angles.
“Then the meteorologist can stop the presentation at the moment most crucial to illustrate the oncoming weather event,” Boss said. “It really involves the audience in what is about to happen.”
Another feature that encourages the audience to become part of the story is the ability of StormDirector+ to include social media inputs in real time, engaging the viewers in a two-way conversation about a developing weather story.
Since the civilian observer can also be geo-located, this effectively turns every member of the audience into their own on-air storm spotters, keeping the content of the presentation current and immediate.
At their NAB booth, AccuWeather will be demonstrating how precise weather datasets including high rez GOES-R satellite imagery, single site radar reflectivity, and velocity data can identify and pinpoint severe weather in advance of a storm event.
“Since this is updated every minute, it changes the game with the speed the meteorologist can track changing weather conditions,” Boss said.
The other product AccuWeather will have on display is StoryTeller, which already has 200 clients around the globe and 14 of the top 15 markets in the U. S.
“StoryTeller combines local weather information with news, sports, traffic, social media, crime, live audience polling, user-generated content into an interactive touchscreen presentation,” Boss said.
“One interesting application is live bracket updates for sports events like the NCAA March Madness tournament. As soon as one team wins you can drag it into the next bracket and everything is updated. You can even experiment with ‘what if’ scenarios as the race to the Final Four unfolds.”
Visit the AccuWeather NAB exhibit and see how with StormDirector+ and StoryTeller, the realness of the reality around us can be presented as looking more “real”.
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