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NAB Picks Pilot Challenge Winners

The National Association of Broadcasters has picked this year's PILOT Innovation Challenge winners.

The six winners were chosen from over 150 submissions of technology to answer the question: "What is an unconventional way broadcasters and other local media could serve communities?”

NAB winnowed the field to a dozen finalists last month.

The Knight Foundation teamed with PILOT to boost the number of winners, with first place getting $30,000, second place $25,000 and third place $20,000, with three other winners getting $15,000 to develop a prototype. The winners will be showcased at the NAB Show.

And the winners are:

First Place: Adam Woodlief, UNC-TV, for Next Gen TV Saving Lives One Alert at a Time, described as "timelier responses to emergencies by datacasting technology over broadcast television."

Second Place: Josh Davidsburg, University of Maryland, for NewsBIN VLOG, which "broadcast journalism and YouTube’s popular first-person vlogging style to create a new format of video journalism."

Third Place: Ayinde Alakoye for nēdl, which is described as using speech recognition to allow radio listeners to find specific programming without having to switch from station to station to find it.

Getting the $15,000 for prototypes were Edwin Rogers and William Steele for LiveWorks, a chat application to deliver "AR/VR and 360 video immersive content over broadcast and other mediums using the new ATSC 3.0 spec being standardized and voted on Nov. 16th," according to Steele; Kathleen Ryan and Elizabeth Skewes, University of Colorado, Boulder, for Immersive Storytelling & an Ethic of Care, described as digital storytelling platforms, with the case study featuring female photographers documenting the environmental impact of oil and gas extraction; and Hans Meyer of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University for Engagement VR: Transparent Community Interaction, which are virtual tours of the less-covered parts of a station's viewing area.

NAB describes PILOT as "A coalition of innovators, educators and advocates dedicated to advancing broadcast technologies and cultivating new media opportunities." Those innovators include Google, Yahoo! and Nielsen.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.