Tag Archives: Picket WTAJ.

Praise for Charlotte Ames’ 30 second television report on the benefits of virtual reality

I write to praise television reporter Charlotte Ames. In 30 seconds, using 84 words and directing the camera to show six brief vivid images, WTAJ Nightly News for Central Pennsylvania ran the story at 6 PM, Tuesday, May 3, 2011 on Channel Six: PSU Using Virtual Reality to Help Seniors & Disabled.
Working, as I do, in PSU’s virtual reality lab, one of the most complicated and detail oriented places I have worked in my many decades working, I cannot help but admire Ames’ ability to summarize the story so briefly and to the point.
            The camera shows the following images:
1.     Charlotte Ames introducing the story. Ames presents herself as an attractive serious reporter wearing a blue jacket, a black blouse, and a suitably informal necklace. Behind her are images of the news room. Other visual information reveals that WTAJ is the CBS affiliate in Altoona, that this is the 6 pm newscast, and local weather information streams below her. She speaks quickly and clearly in a manner that conveys that during a busy day, this is something you should know. (She says, Researchers at Penn State are helping to design affordable high-tech homes you can safely stay in as you age. The camera then takes over showing images from Penn State’s Immersive Construction [Icon] lab where Ames continues her voice over.)
2.     A wide-angle view of the cavernous, dark virtual reality lab showing an audience looking at multiple large brightly lit screens.
3.     Graduate research assistant (to Professor John Messner) Sonali Kumar (whose 3-D model may very well establish the national standard for designing future elderly and disability housing) sitting at the controls at the rear of the lab.
4.     A close up of the 3-D virtual reality housing model as an avatar moves closer into a clearly visible kitchen.
5.     Two members of the audience, which includes elderly and disabled residents of State Colleges’ Addison Court, watching.
6.     Robert Walters sitting on a real Amigo Mobility Power Operated Vehicle (POV) scooter shown on a live video screen to McKeesport (a two and a half hour drive away) where he and John Bertoty at Blue Roof Technologies are currently building low-cost, high technology homes in a Bruce Springsteen town where over 20 per cent of the population is elderly.
None of the lab’s video images are identified with the specificity I have provided, but the totality of the experience conveys the gestalt in a way good television can only do.
Eighty-two words—six television images all in 30 seconds. The message: Some very smart and talented people are working to make life better for elderly people in a state that after Florida has the highest percentage of elderly population in the country. [See for yourself. http://wearecentralpa.com/wtaj-news-fulltext/?nxd_id=271477 Count the words. Brilliant reporting.]
[[Sad note from your Charlotte Ames enthusiast.
You cannot see for yourself. WTAJ has removed this link. If the bipartisan examination of the 2016 elections has taught the American people anything, it is not to trust the word of a hothead like me telling you on the Internet that I am telling the truth. If I were you I would do what I would do (if the battery on my mobility device were any good), picket WTAJ until the station manager cries uncle and shows you Charlotte Ames’ praiseworthy work.]]
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