When They Snooze, You Lose

Man snoozing with his face on his laptop keyboard.

Humans really suck at paying attention. We weren’t designed for modern life, we’re supposed to be picking fruit and running like mad from predators. Let’s talk some general stats:

Humans can pay attention to things, on average, for about 12 seconds.

There is controversy as to whether this is shortening or not, but even if we go with 12 seconds, we’re not talking very long. A person speaks a sentence in about 8 seconds. You can’t even expect someone to pay attention to more than two sentences before you must do something to draw them back! In this case, your message needs to be compelling enough to keep attention from sentence to sentence. Video to the rescue! This is one item that video, even mediocre video, helps solve.

Humans lack an innate ability to sustain focus for longer than 10 minutes.

Humans cannot sustain focus on tasks without assistance or training. Typically we start losing focus after about 10 minutes of attending a meeting, driving or watching television. This stat is more interesting for our topic of In Stream quizzing as it gives you an idea of how long you have before you need to do something drastic to regain your audience focus. Movies do this by blowing shit up. Jolokia does this with In Stream Quizzing.

Traditionally, you’d watch a video and take a test at the end. This is an effective way to train people, but, as we’ve discussed, we humans have a focus problem. By prompting the user for action, and moreover, action that requires both thinking about the current subject and recall of the information presented, you are regaining the users focus while, at the same time, covering two important facets in learning retention: repetition and recall.

Inferno adds in stream quizzing to our expanding timeline editor. If you have been editing captions in Inferno, you’ve already met the timeline editor. You can choose spots in the timeline and easily add questions. During On-Demand videos, the trainer or administrator has the option to pause to allow the user to answer the question. For live video, the video does not pause, but expects the event producer to allow a certain amount of time for viewers to answer before proceeding.

The kind of overlay that displays the question can use can be adjusted so that you can cover the entire video, overlay over part of it, etc. That way you can keep playing video to the users if you’d like while you are having them answer questions. We wouldn’t want them to start thinking about something else, would we?

Once the event is complete you have the option of delivering a customized certificate to the user if they passed by the percentage you configured. This can be used for continuing educational needs or just to stroke their ego.

Expect more exciting interactive features as development of Inferno continues. Branching based on decisions/answers, the ability to insert additional materials for the user to download, jump points, and much more in the coming months.


We are really excited to continue this work in Interactive Video and are working directly with our clients to ensure that they find value in these advanced video features. If you are someone in an enterprise that values success in communications and training – give Jolokia a call.

Learn more about the Inferno Video Streaming Platform

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