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Rich Interactive Narratives

Film strip

The Microsoft Rich Interactive Narratives (RIN) research project combines traditional forms of storytelling with new visualization technologies to create compelling interactive digital narratives. The RIN project is an undertaking by Microsoft Research India in collaboration with the Interactive Visual Experience group in Microsoft Research Redmond and the Microsoft Research Connections.


Watch the video: Sri Andal Temple Digital HeritageThe RIN technology has its origins in the Sri Andal Temple project in 2008 (video). The temple demo featured an application that led users through an immersive, interactive, narrated walkthrough that included Photosynth and HD View stitched images of a temple in Tamil Nadu. Several core RIN concepts such as Experience Streams originated in that project.


The Rich Interactive Narratives (RIN) technology consists of:

  • The RIN semantic representation— a structured, extensible, and platform-independent data model with execution semantics. The representation specifies the orchestration of multiple nonlinear "stories" that thread through multiple experiences. The representation is defined at a fundamentally higher level than presentation markup languages such as HTML and CSS. We have defined equivalent XML and JSON versions of this representation.
  • A set of core libraries, called "RIN Core", that interpret the above representation. These libraries are targeted to particular rendering platforms, the most notable one being HTML+JavaScript. An earlier version targeted the Silverlight platform. In theory, one could build multiple version of the RIN core libraries each specialized to certain platforms to take advantage of evolving technology or particular presentation constraints.
  • Plugin libraries called Experience Providers, each of which brings a specific visualization experience (such as maps, panoramas, paginated documents and various forms of data visualization) into the realm of RINs.
  • Authoring tools to create RIN content. Authoring RIN content is decoupled from rendering content, much as authoring of HTML content is decoupled from rendering content. In fact authoring RIN content is an open-ended affair.