New RealNetworks Streaming Tool Identifies Celebrities On YouTube And Netflix

RealNetworks technology can surface specific appearances by celebrities, as shown here with LeBron James in the recent “Graduate Together” on YouTube, indexed with StarSearch web extension. RealNetworks

If you’ve ever wanted to zero in on only certain people you want to watch in a YouTube video or a Netflix film or TV show, RealNetworks has a product for you.

The tech pioneer, whose technology kicked off the streaming age in 1995, has rolled out two new artificial intelligence tools. One, a browser extension called StarSearch, uses artificial intelligence to identify celebrities and public figures in YouTube or Netflix programming. The other, RealPlayer 20/20, can identify people appearing in videos and enable organization of media files in terms of who appears in them.

StarSearch is available as a free Google Chrome extension for PCs or Macintosh computers and will soon be adding streaming sources beyond YouTube and Netflix.

Rob Glaser, founder and CEO of RealNetworks, said the launches emphasize the company’s legacy, which was secured with the introduction of RealAudio 25 years ago. “Streaming has since become a central part of society, especially in these challenging times,” he said in a press release. “We hope that millions of consumers worldwide will find StarSearch and RealPlayer 20/20 delightful and useful.”

Frederick Savoye, VP of Consumer Media for RealNetworks, said the company’s research indicates that more than 80% of viewers often ask themselves who they are watching in a given piece of video. He said the tool, which lets users quickly navigate through content to find stars or people of interest to them, introduces “a wholly intuitive way to search and experience content in your media library.”

In one example cited by the company, any fan of LeBron James could skip to just his portion of the digital giant’s hour-long Graduate Together special.

RealPlayer 20/20 also deploys AI and computer vision technology, organizing users’ library by people so you can search, browse and easily find clips and scenes with people they want to see. The company said it has applications for top TV draws like political debates, late-night shows or even the Academy Awards telecast.

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