What is Lapwing?

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In recent months, we have been developing Ostmodern’s next product, Lapwing.

This has emerged from our experience of engaging and retaining audiences around the world, and builds on on our background in the broadcast industry and specialism in video. Currently in beta, Lapwing reflects our drive to solve problems with, and discover new opportunities in, rich media. The goal is always to improve the experience of digital entertainment by looking at audiences and how they want to interact with content.

A significant challenge for broadcasters and sports rights owners is to ensure that the technology to deliver an emerging narrative during a live event is robust and scalable. Live streaming of video and data is difficult to scale and synchronise across global audiences. This is compounded by the need to incorporate other data sources and business systems. The challenge requires synchronising multiple live streams and incorporating a huge amount of metadata as well as data sources – all while delivering this in a consistent, well-designed UX that can scale for audiences around the world.

Lapwing is a live data back end that takes data from a source in a single connection and relays it to a mass of end users, all of whom connect individually. Users are able to send the server a timestamp and receive data from that specific time, allowing it effectively to sync to a stream which may be +/- a few minutes from live with the data ‘as it happened’.

Designed with the same founding principles as Skylark, another Ostmodern product, Lapwing does not limit itself to one data feed or format, and allows the ingestion and output of multiple data feeds through the same system. Additionally, it is possible to authenticate users before they access each type of data, based on their subscription.

What makes Lapwing special?

Lapwing is capable of relaying data to a significant number of users all viewing data at a unique point in time. It is designed to scale horizontally as the number of users increase.

How does Lapwing relate to Skylark?

Lapwing & Skylark

Lapwing works with a concept of 'channel' like streams of data. This means that in theory, a data stream can be associated directly to a specific channel in Skylark's EPG, so that when you connect to that, you can obtain the data too.

The biggest benefit though, is that data that comes from upstream can be used to match up with Skylark data, allowing programmers to obtain information on athletes, venues, etc from Skylark's more static data store to augment with the live data.

What’s next with Lapwing?

We plan to push the application of Lapwing even further, notably on replaying live experiences. In the next few weeks and months we are planning to speak more publicly about the opportunities provided by Lapwing. There is much more to come.

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