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Greater video interactivity planned for HTML5

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› Greater video interactivity planned for HTML5
  • Published on January 7, 2014

Although the latest ratification of the venerable HTML standard has failed to revolutionize the Web in the ways that early evangelists had predicted, some developers refuse to give up on the remarkable potential of this powerful version of HTML. The inclusion of video embedding tags directly into HTML5 was heralded as one of the greatest leaps forward for the language, and according to StreamingMedia.com, HTML5 video could soon be given a new lease on life.

Taking it further
The news source reported that according to Chuck Hudson, co-author of "The HTML5 Developer's Cookbook," enhanced functionality could soon be implemented into the standard, allowing Web developers to leverage the power of HTML5 to provide users with a more interactive and immersive browsing experience. Speaking at the recent Streaming Media West conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., Hudson outlined his vision for the future of online video using HTML5.

"Everyone's used to embedding video now from the major sites for streaming video," Hudson told the news source. "But where we typically leave it off is just leaving the user to view the video and not actually engaging them and being interactive. The talk today was about adding components and adding experiences via things like subtitling and metadata onto the video itself to allow people to actually click on items in the video, hotspots, have better navigation with the video experiences and, overall, engage the user much more."

Of course, the greatest roadblock facing the evolution of video in HTML5 is browser compatibility. Unless major browsers such as Chrome and Firefox implement the functionality necessary to leverage this heightened interactivity, developers will be forced to use extensible frameworks such as Javascript to achieve the same results.

Seeing is believing
Although Javascript libraries such as Node and Backbone remain immensely popular among developers, some sites have demonstrated just how powerful HTML5 video can be. TechRepublic recently highlighted several examples of how, in the proper hands, HTML5 can be a remarkable tool for creating engaging online video.

In the first example, The New York Times used HTML5 to great effect to provide its readers with an interactive story about an avalanche that claimed the lives of three people in the Cascade Mountains in Washington in 2012. Utilizing both presentational and stylistic elements, the resulting online experience made a compelling story even more engaging through the use of built-in HTML5 functionality such as canvas tags.

Another excellent illustration of the power of HTML5 was a cover feature about British singer/songwriter Natasha Khan by Pitchfork. This ambitious and stylish project featured a range of elements and, despite its appearances, the majority of the result was achieved using native HTML5 code. Parallax scrolling was accomplished using the data-scale, data-width, data-frames, data-factor and data-vector elements, while CSS3 was utilized to add interstitial interval and region effects like transitions, blends and alpha filters.

A remarkable tool
For aspiring Web developers, HTML5 knowledge is essential. HTML training at the American Graphics Institute can teach you how to start writing your own webpages. After a while, you may want to explore other complementary design practices, such as user experience (or UX) through UX training. After all, knowing how to create the code used in these and countless other examples is only part of the puzzle.

Whether you've dabbled in HTML authorship in the past or don't know the difference between an element and an attribute, our expert instructors will teach you how to design and create elegant, intuitive online experiences that can be adapted for almost any purpose, from corporate landing pages to individualized HTML email marketing campaigns. No previous experience is necessary, and with HTML training from the American Graphics Institute, you'll soon master the fundamental language of the Web in no time.

About the author

is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the creator and editor of the Digital Classroom book series. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft. He delivers workshops relating to digital marketing, web analytics, SEO, and SEM. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.