Inspiration

Dot learn introduced the problem of offering online education for minimal memory, so that students in countries such as Nigeria and India can access the educational platforms. However, because they have limited resources and pay per bytes used, it is optimal to reduce file sizes in order to increase accessibility.

What it does

Our approaches online education in a different way. Rather than use the traditional audio and visual files to create a video (which inevitably takes up a lot of memory) we decided to simplify the "video" to exclude everything but the necessary components. In this way, we were able to drastically reduce the size of the "video" so that an hour's worth of lesson can now be turned into approximately less than 100 KB.

How I built it

In order to simplify the video we decided what parts were necessary for a comprehensive lesson. Rather than have moving images, we decided on one diagram that was divided into parts. In this way, the user could have a greater understanding of the system (in our case mitosis) as a whole while they also focused on specific parts of the diagram (as indicated by audio cues). Furthermore, in order to reduce the size of the audio file we also used a text to speech API. These two factors greatly contributed to the efficiency of the code. In order to allow the student to also replay various parts of the lecture, we broke the "audio file" into 5 buttons so that the appropriate parts could be repeated. To support access from mobile websites we formatted the image to fit the size of the screen accordingly.

Challenges I ran into

We were first unsure how to approach the program, because the way the video was run in the original file was in a new type called vvid. The next challenge was figuring out how to simplify a lesson plan so that while all of the necessary information was conveyed the file was stripped of unnecessary usages of data.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are proud of the implications of our program. By approaching the problem from a new perspective and providing a completely new form of "video" to the website rather than altering the one that we were given we were able to see dramatic improvements. We hope that our project will definitely contribute to the accessibility of online educational websites by minimizing the file sizes.

What I learned

We learned more about each other, especially because we spontaneously met each other during the hackathon. Furthermore, we learned more about video compression which all of us had had absolutely no experience in.

What's next for Video Compression

We hope to be able to expand our mindset on reducing the sizes of other types of files such as learning programs and other tools that can greatly supplement the students' education.

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