Introduction & Business Plan

Table of Contents


1.1.          Video as an Information & Documentation Media. 2

1.2.          Making Video Accessible to Databases. 3

1.3.          Videotext as a Searchable, Index-Ready Solution. 4

1.4.          METADATA.. 4

1.5.          Time Codes and Index points. 5

1.6.          DVD as a Random-Access Media. 6

2.          THRUMMING. 6

2.1.          What Thrumming Is. 6

2.2.          The Thrummer MMI (Man-Machine Interface) 9

2.3.          Thrumming as a Process Enhancement 7

2.4.          Workpads. Error! Bookmark not defined.

2.5.          Review and Edit 12

2.6.          Machines that Talk to Machines: Tymbals and Interface Protocols. 12

3.          APPLICATIONS. 14

3.1.          Coaching and Training. 14

3.2.          Jobs (Surveying & Inventory) 15

3.3.          Judging and Comparing. 16

3.4.          Consumer Electronics. 16

3.5.          Cognitive Evaluation & Training (Thrummer as a user-testing-device) 17

3.6.          Education. 17

3.7.          Component Signal Device and protocol 17

4.          Market Plan. 18

4.1.          From Startup to Large Distribution. 18

4.2.          Market Families. 18

4.3.          Product Release. 20

4.4.          Gaining and Maintaining Market Share. 21

5.          THRUMMER SYSTEMS, INC. 24

5.1.          The Origins of Thrumming. 24

5.2.          The Thrummer Team - Vitae. 25

5.3.          Thrummer Systems Development 27

5.4.          Staffing – Alpha to Release 1. 27

5.5.          Budgets and Schedules. 28



THRUMMER Systems Inc.

~ Introducing a Video Documentation Technology for

Government, Industrial and Consumer Markets



1.1.          Video as an Information & Documentation Media

The management of video information today can be compared to the management of paper documentation prior to the digital era.  The written word has always qualified as the ultimate information storage media, but was not always as handy as a retrieval medium.

Before computers, the only textual ‘hard-copy’ information that was easily accessible was what had been carefully reviewed, indexed, and filed by legions of secretaries, clerks, editors, and librarians employed by the companies, libraries, and the government social service.  Indexing schemes were often non-compatible, and those without secretaries, who could not afford the time to file, simply lost their information.

While film and video have been with us for over a century, it is obviously a short time compared to the history of the printed word.  Yet the difficulty and cost of creating film made it a fairly elite methodology for information storage until the introduction of low-cost video cameras.  The ease and freedom with which videotapes could be made, however, was in great contrast to the ease with which information could be found on a given tape.  Anyone who remembers having shelves and drawers full of family events and films, shows, and games copied from TV on long-play, is intimately familiar with the frustration of finding a favorite scene, touch-down pass, or shot to submit for “Funniest Home Video.”  Unless someone in the family was extremely diligent about logging contents, dates, and approximate location on the videotape case – finding information after several months was a frustrating time-consuming game of chance.  Like the earlier written documents, videotape has always qualified as a storage medium, but not as a retrieval media.

The era of digitized video is here, and DVDs are as inexpensive and ubiquitous as videotape was just a decade ago, yet the frustrations for retrieval have only eased somewhat.  Digital video allows us to store films, games, family events, and TV shows in folders – and assign names and dates to the files for easier retrieval.  It has brought us to the level of an old-time library… before the Dewey Decimal System or the Library of Congress Catalog Numbers, where we must walk through miles of stacks opening books, one after another, to see if we are in the right section.

Yet, when one considers the facility with which a 10-year-old today can ‘google’ for information, one appreciates how standards have changed in what we expect from our technologies.

People are being very patient with video.  It is still primarily a technology associated with film and TV, and is not viewed as carrying “information,” per se.   And while the invention of film was hailed as a unique class of visual and temporal data[1], containing raw information that no other medium could reproduce – its use soon moved from the sciences and industry to storytelling.   It is hardly remembered that in its earliest years, film was used extensively for motion analysis, during the development of “scientifically managed” factories.  But film soon became the venue of choice to capture and direct audience emotions through changes of light, expression and action (and soon, sounds, music, and words).  Nearly a hundred years later, we still identify film and TV with this use, for other than its use in security systems, video today is rarely associated with an “information and documentation system.”

Introduction of The Thrummer is about to change this perception.

1.2.          Making Video Accessible to Databases.

There are many suggested approaches to make video accessible to information retrieval technologies.  Several automated techniques are in development at research facilities around the world to extract the meaning of video from the raw DVD files.  Most of these use high-powered mathematical algorithms for pattern-recognition - extracting motion, sound and words, and by combining them altogether, recognize searched-for contents. 

Another rather “low-tech” solution is found in what is known as ‘Video Stenography.”  This is the practice of having a seated typist rapidly touch-typing commentary into a computer attached to the video camera.  One would expect they place commentary directly onto the digital video medium; what video stenography does however, is take the running time-code from the video camera and interpolate it into the text – essentially like measure numbers in a musical score.  Video stenography is used in applications such as court documentation, highway and bridge surveys, industrial security logs, and athletic coaching, etc., but it always requires a “secretary.” 

There have been innumerable discussions on ways to insert the commentary onto the video media itself.  This goes back to the days of 70mm film, when many patented approaches were developed to place index points on the film-strip.  Once VHS tape became the standard over Betamax, VHS Standards’ Committees such as SMPTE made sure that ample tracks were available for adding indexes and commentary.  No standard was ever agreed upon, however, as the timecode indexing used by video stenography was sufficient for the limited uses to which video was being put.

1.3.          A Searchable, Index-Ready Solution for Video

The goal, as it is often conceived, seems to be to create a running textual commentary to the video – essentially reducing all the audio and visual components back to text, which we know how to organize and sort. 

A very close analogy to this solution is provided with the real-time addition of videotext for the deaf, either by typist input or voice-recognition software. In this particular case, not only to we have a technology that produces a text-searchable commentary, but it does so in a specially devoted audio track of the video recording.   Videotext, then, would seem to be our ticket to the future of video indexing.

It suggests an approach to integrating the video record into a full information database.  Videotext is for the deaf, who cannot hear but can see the picture – and so it includes a textual representation of the spoken words.  In order to complete the informational picture, however, we would have to add a similar textual representation of the visual presentation – automatically created for the blind who can hear the words but can’t see the speakers, the action, the setting, or the pictures of the topics being spoken about. 

This highlights some of the drawbacks which make videotext fall short as a full solution to make video into a true storage and retrieval medium.  These requirements are amplified with a fuller discussion of video indexing for recall.

1.4.          METADATA

“Metadata” as it is currently used in industry, refers to the ‘information about’ or behind the creation of documentation.  The term metadata originates in the digital era – although in the hardcopy world, header and footer information, engineering blocks, document numbering conventions all provided different classes of metadata.  For digital media, the most basic metadata requirements were required at the machine language level, and existed for file retrieval, invoking the correct applications, sector maintenance, etc. Users interaction with metadata was with information such as the file attributes (file size, file type, protected status, back-up location).  

Most office workers today are familiar with another class of metadata in the “Properties” dialogue of the Microsoft Word documents, where many categories of “information about” the document can be inserted by the author or a diligent document control department.  In this sense, the term ‘metadata’ can also include words and category keys used for search engines.

Metadata for digital video and pictures, as currently defined by Sony’s MXF (Metadata Transfer Format), may include specific information regarding production characteristics – equipment and settings used to create the media.  It may include author, date, location information, as well as specific shot and contextual data.   Just as the “Properties” box in Microsoft applications allows for many types of document tags and a user-specified list of field codes, the MXF protocol is open enough to allow segments of digital film tagged with metadata to be easily found by a search engine.  This ‘metadata’ repository will be associated with each individual digital file, yet as with the “Properties” dialogue in MS Word, it would be up to the diligence of the author or document control department to manually enter and maintain the majority of this data.

Note, however, that video which is also tagged with video text becomes searchable beyond a “Properties” box, just as an internet search engine goes beyond keywords to find specific names and data deep in the text of the web page.

Digital film which has not be tagged with some form of metadata can only be searched with powerful analytical tools.  These must be capable of reading through the entire digital record, extracting speech from background noises, recognizing words in context, and making decisions on its relevance to the search in question.  Depending on the size of the video library being searched, one can only imagine the number of search results one would receive, and the difficulty of opening each of them up and trying to decide their relevance, or why they were returned in the first place.

1.5.          Time Codes and Index points

Because video recordings are, by definition, in time – they are defined by segments of time, i.e. the video time-code associated with the digital recording.  As with any video stenography, thrumming creates a tabular ‘database’ of index points and their associated time-codes.

Video, however, is a highly plastic media – and is traditionally spliced, edited, copied and segmented in many different ways.  While the display of individual frames on a screen takes place in a line-by-line replacement of the screen contents, video is still defined by “frames,” which are identified by a time-code location rather than their physical linear location on the tape, or sector of a disc.  Splicing takes place by identifying a start-time and end-time of a video segment, and specifying it be inserted into a specific time-code location.  When the list of a round of edits has been completed the video editing system re-compiles the digital record and creates a new sequence with an entirely new time-code.

Professional Hollywood editors maintain a number of parallel time-codes, in order to maintain track of indexes, but this is relatively difficult and beyond the capacity of most home editing systems, as well as the attention capacity of home editors.

1.6.          DVD as a Random-Access Media

DVD is defined as a random access video medium.  Outside of the environment of a video editor, where the recording is defined through its linear time-code and a video editor may select any frame for the start of a viewing sequence, once a video arrives in the form of a final compiled DVD a viewer’s choice is dependent on pre-set access points.  These are comparable to the tracks on an audio CD which can be selected individually, shuffled, repeated, etc.  Unlike vinyl recording, where the tracks were visually apparent, CD audio tracks are generally differentiated only by an interval of silence between songs, which the CD scanner can quickly located and assign track numbers to.  For DVD, what appears a continuous video sequence is actually divided into pre-selected sequences which have been compiled for continuous viewing.

Thus, a viewer’s ‘random’ selection is not exactly random, but is limited to accessing a pre-tagged location and then manually scrolling forward or back to find a desired sequence or frame.  On the familiar commercial DVD films a viewer is provided with a rather high-level Table of Contents from which to select.  On DVDs designed for professional instruction, the choice more closely resembles a textbook index, or the topics listing in a software HELP-file.

2.       THRUMMING

2.1.          What Thrumming Is.

Thrumming is conceived as a special case of video stenography which can be carried out by a single person operating a camera.  It was developed for the current world of inexpensive DVD, and is not intended for professional camera operators producing television or film, where sufficient personnel and equipment exist for indexing operations.  Thrumming requires that the camera have a flip-out screen monitor rather than an eyepiece. It also assumes that the camera operator is primarily occupied with pointing the camera and operating the zoom….i.e., carefully watching the performance for cues which may require adjusting their view.

A “Thrum” is an audible signal, resembling a chirp or buzz (“thrumming” is previously defined as a monotonous strumming sound, generally made on a string.)    The “Thrummer” represents the physical man-machine interface (MMI) on which a user generates recordable “thrumming” signals at frequencies between 18-22kHz[2].  The user will program meaning into the thrummer signal through a standard PC operating system interface (MS, Apple, Sun), which is downloaded to the thrummer carriage through a standard RS232 cable.

Thrumming sounds are physically produced by the tymbal – a button-like device positionable on or near the microphone of a recording device.[3]  The Thrummer MMI communicates to the tymbal through a radio frequency transmitter located in the thrummer carriage.

The thrummer is made up of a touchpad with an RF transmitter communicating with the tymbal attached to the camera.  The user defines all the characteristics of the touchpad on their PC, the signal definitions which are downloaded to the thrummer.

2.2.          Thrumming as a Process Enhancement

The indexing approach used by thrumming is to place the index content directly into the audio track of the video recording, as a high-frequency signal, at-or-above the audible range of sound, but captured by microphones and placed on the recording.  Like Morse Code, these signals can be easily extracted from the digital signal by a mathematical algorithm such as used in digital pattern recognition.  The extracted ‘thrum signals’ are then associated with the primary time code on the video segment, and whether it has been spliced or re-edited, the thrum signal will always remain in the audio track, and can be used for indexing and video reporting.

Once any digital copy of a video file has been created, the thrummer system search engine runs through the full digital record, pulling out the thrum signals and their associated time-code locations, while the thrummer system editor inserts requisite digital tags to modify the file for rapid access.  After analyzing the relationships between various thrum signals, the search engine compiles a structured index which is attached to the MXF metadata “properties” segment of the file, and then placed in the library.

As should be quickly clear, the simplest description of thrumming is as a method by which one adds textual metadata to a video recording at the time of the recording – rather than during the “post-edit” period.  The metadata automatically creates an index of access points which a user can use to locate specific locations of a tape for viewing.

Applications of thrumming will go beyond simple re-access and review.  Thrumming will amplify the uses of video as an analysis and comparison tool.  A specialist holding a video camera will analyze and classify what they see – in order to help viewers see and understand what they want them to take notice of..   Thrumming allows specialists to identify activities or ‘shots’ which they want to compare, judge, or analyze alongside similar shots. 

The principle use of the metadata is to produce video “v-reports,” placing filmed segments back-to-back, in whatever order the user specifies, and showing whatever activities are to be analyzed.  The use of the word ‘report’ is borrowed from the world of databases, where a complex set of relationships have been encoded into a project file, and the managers in different departments and roles can design a “report” which associates the data in the fashion that makes it most meaningful to their perspective.   As is readily clear, this is a step beyond simple metadata index point retrieval.

V-reports are possible because the thrum signal structure is designed to contain information relevant to the person making the film (the camera-person and thrummer), the meanings attached to the signals at the time the workpad was programmed and prior to its being downloaded to the thrummer.   If one considers that each thrummed metadata signal must be encoded with enough information to allow even the shortest segment to be extracted and stored as an individual video file, it becomes clearer that thrum signals must contain sufficient structure and granularity to generate a database of considerable relational structure.

In this sense, the choice to thrum a video is to amplify human memory and discrimination.[4]  One might view a particular sequence of moves, i.e. muscular coordination, and know – on-the-spot – that you want it tagged for a frame-by-frame analysis.  Similarly, one might see an exhibit of a “model” performance which one wants to classify as “perfect” or as the baseline against which all other similar performances will be judged.  In this sense,  as a creative tool, thrumming represents a major enhancement over current video stenography, which is a passive recording of events in textual format.

2.3.          The Thrummer MMI (Man-Machine Interface)

Instead of requiring a keypad, thrumming is based on a touch-sensitive work-pad (the “thrummer”), with areas and key-words defined specifically for the class or family of video recording to be made.  As it turns out, most performances being videotaped are being videotaped for a reason, and thus fairly predictable: they can be defined within specific boundaries. 

The layout of the touch-sensitive interface – the keywords and area defining the work or game or event being videotaped – are laid out by the user to be a fixed menu of meanings which are to be applied to segments of the video recording by touching the pad. 

This “menu of meanings” is not a typical computer-based user interface with scroll-bars, pull-down menus and dialogue boxes.  It is static and fixed, like a keyboard.  In theory, picture a touch-sensitive clipboard with a simple paper overlay spatially-calibrated to its surface.  A printed sheet of paper on a touchpad.[5]

The uniquely-defined menu is at the center of the interface.  It will be created to uniquely represent the user’s actual physical situation as a participant in the activities being recorded.  Just as thrumming physically changes the recorded environment by introducing a sound which a simple microphone can pick up, the individual making the recording is doing it as a participant, with the intent to use the recording to improve performances, analyze or otherwise change activities. 

Similar to the touch-pads used by bartenders and at fast-food counters, a thrummer is meant to allow its users to become quickly familiar with a limited number of decision-points, allowing for rapid, “single stroke” actuation of an index signal to the video recording.

But where a bartender is simply adding up tabs by touching names of drinks and food ordered, a thrummer workpad may be much more complex.  Workpads designed for gymnastics coaches, OSHA surveys, or monitoring laboratory work-practices will be quite different from each other.  Customizing them will be clearly several levels of complexity greater than the bartender’s simple touch menu of drinks, and the rules he’s given for maintaining tabs on different customers in various seats.

This uniquely defined menu is based around a specific “language of the work” or “language of the game,” pre-defined with the Thrummer product.  Were a bartender or restaurant owner have need of a videotape, their workpad would be customized for each of the dishes and drinks on their menu, the price, and the available table locations.  As with any system design, they might want this to include additional information helpful to the waitress and cook, such as the preparation times and the kitchen facilities each dish will tie up.  Notice that the workpad for restaurant work would be consistent from restaurant to restaurant, but the constituents of the pad –the names of workers, the menu selection, the table and kitchen layouts – would be unique to each user, and once defined - relatively constant. 

Consider an analyst for a chain of restaurants - videotaping and thrumming provides a perfect methodology to study work processes for their improvement.  It is very likely that they would begin their particular customization by installing a workpad template for food-related services.  The “grammar of restaurant work” built into this template will be as much about the items which the analyst will want to point to, as the way he or she will want to report on them, comparing and contrasting different methodologies for cutting, presentation, maintaining tools, etc. 

As is readily apparent, the language of work can be vastly different for each class of business, job, or sport – but relatively stable within that business, job, or sport.  It is also clear that a workpad must be significantly customized by the user for their team, their procedures, and their conceptual way of organizing their activities…. similar to setting up a desktop which one will constantly use.

Thrumming can be carried out with a pen-point, and, since a  thrummer pad and camera can be attached to one another[6], thrumming can be carried out while filming.  The move away from keypads to workpads designed for a specific task-related work is understandable when one realizes that a keypad is designed to allow a user to type any configuration of letters or words, and requires two hands and significant skill. 

Thrumming allows the user to program up to 500 touch-sensitive points onto the workpad, representing a full range of expected activities or occurrences which will be encountered during videotaping – and which the user can become intimately familiar with, similar to any complex form that one fills out time after time on the job (see Appendix 1 for examples of workpads developed for use in agricultural data collection).

2.4.          Thrumming Systems

A thrumming system begins with the user’s interface, where a workpad is prepared for use.  Because users purchase a thrummer system for either a profession or an avocational use, at most a half-dozen workpads will ever need to be created by most users. 

The user will customize a basic template on their PC screen in an application similar to the Microsoft web editor “FrontPage.”  The templates themselves will be industry-specific, much like of the “stencils” available in Microsoft “Visio.”  After customizing the workpad, users will print it and download the definition to the thrummer, at which point they are ready to ‘thrum’  video recordings.

The thrummer system will be installed with pre-defined default workpads, so that the user need only customize a limited number of fields or keys.  For example, if the user installs their thrummer system for food-related services, they will not have access to templates outside of their industry.  If the system is installed for security purposes, it will be limited to security-relevant templates.  For highly-specialized work in engineering, manufacturing, agriculture, etc. – the amount of customization is extensive, and will probably be done by consultants specializing in job analysis and wordpad development.   For sports coaches, they will install templates defined for only a specific family of sports – options to create a workpad structure for the language of different sports can be too easily confused.  Activities that seem the same to speakers of different games, may mean quite different things in terms of the discriminations and comparisons that the coaches will want to see.

As described previously, the basic workpad is conceived to be no more than a printed paper overlay, inserted into the clear thrummer touchpad surface.   In most cases, the thrummer will include method of feedback, letting the user know they have touched the correct location on the pad before sending the signal, or batch of signals.

For complex, rapid action activities such as football or emergency response work, the user may be asked to multi-task.  A microphone with voice-recognition software will be added to the touchpad – making voice an optional, parallel channel to touch for placing thrum signals onto the recording. 

The workpad must be static – conceived like a keyboard or desktop which does not change its functionality with every stroke[7]  Where a workpad is created by a touch-sensitive screen display, “common sense” would make it dynamic – fitting as many options onto the screen as possible.  This effectually destroys the utility and ease of thrumming.  Workpads are designed with the principle of job-aids, which are based on mnemonic principles and should take little or no learning --- but support memory and habit creation after the first use.

On touching a ‘key’ or  touch-sensitive location on the workpad, the thrummer generates an audio signal which is picked up by the recording device.  To maintain a consistent audio signal, less affected by background noise, the thrummer will actually send its signal to a sound device, called the “tymbal” affixed directly on or beside the camera microphone.   The thrumming index system is entirely independent of the camera hardware, and can be used with old-style VCR recorders as well as modern DVD technology.

2.5.          Review and Edit

Once the recording has been converted to a digital file, the thrumming system software will extract the signals and apply all the appropriate rules needed to create an indexed Library copy capable of outputting video reports.  The signals will contain an inherent grammar tying linguistic data to video sequence information e.g., ‘Jones,’ 14:42:12:05, ‘crawlstroke, ’ 14:42:15:31;  ‘5:6:flipturn’; ‘Jones 14:42:17:06’), where ‘5:6:flipturn’ refers the extraction program to a user-defined rule in the video header for start-time and end-time effects.

Workpads allow the user to thrum many different aspects of the recording, as it is happening.  Thus fields and keys on the workpad will often be inter-related – such that a given piece of data requires another data field to be considered complete.  Prior to creating the indexed Library, the system will prepare a video report showing all the segments of the recording which have missing index fields.  The user is provided with a video re-recording device, which allows additional thrum signals to be made to the audio track prior to final entry into the library.   During this review and edit process, thrum signals can also be marked for deletion, and subsequently “scrubbed”  from the audio track.

2.6.          Machines that Talk to Machines: Tymbals and Interface Protocols

In the classic film, “Starwars,” audiences came to accept robots chirping at each other in different robot “languages.”   In the movie it served its purposes and humanized the machines, making R2D2 more like Toto from “The Wizard of Oz.”  In reality, however, this would seem far-fetched.  Why would machines talk to machines with audio when they can use radio or infra-red frequencies to communicate?   Gerasimov and Bender, at the MIT Media Lab, decided to evaluate the possible realities of the scenario (“Machines that Talk,” IBM Systems Journal, 2000). 

Consider, for example, a variety of unrelated machines placed in the same room or factory floor.  They are unrelated in function, and do not necessarily have to be communicating through a LAN.  Yet their simple spatial relationships might give them reason to communicate with each other – the intended actions of one of the machines may cause a power, sound, light-surge requiring an adjusted state in others to avoid alarms or incorrect statistical sampling.  As it turned out, sound frequencies provide one of the more robust media – where background noise can be easily filtered out, and with expected “hail” signals to synchronize transmitter and receiver, a number of audio techniques exist to allow machines to send alert and condition messages to other machines.

While thrumming was conceived independently of Gerasimov and Bender’s work, their research provides the theoretical basis of the signal structures to be used.  In fact, it shows that the tymbal could conceivably transmit in several modes – all of which provide redundancy to the signal.  For in the case of thrumming, the complexity and precision of the transmission goes far beyond the needs of machines sending alerts to each other. 

There is a reason that the R2D2 scenario is included in a business plan for video documentation systems.  For the communication protocol of thrumming must, from the very start, contain adequate structure to represent all potential action conditions for a workpad.  Video will be used to point to important differentiations in motion, that is clear. However, if one considers recording a student teacher being evaluated for speaking style, body language, emotional responses to student heckling, etc. one realizes that a user will want reports as flexible and precise as their own discrimination skills.   A workpad will be asked not just to point at something and assign an index with a name, but that name must include many aspects of the meaning which the word has for the user:  including temporal, spatial, causal, and hierarchical relationships with other names. 

The deep structure of the thrumming system, in fact, must be adequate for the future of machine-to-machine signal protocols, and will be designed with future international standards committees in mind.  As part of the business plan, then, the design and patenting of the technologies underlying the tymbal and the signal extraction has potentially greater long-term impacts than thrumming.  Developing the syntax of workpad rules capable of selective interpretation of any human activities which might be recorded on video – e.g. all human activities, is probably also the defining condition for R2D2 and his friends.


There are five categories for thrummer applications and V-Reports which depend on a job-specific user-specified grammar which only thrumming metadata provides.  These are:

1.      Coaching & Training

2.      Surveying & Inventory

3.      Judging, Comparing

4.      Cognitive Evaluation & Training

5.      Education

“Consumer Electronics,” while it is actually a marketing classification, is conceived here as the sixth category, since it includes V-reporting, but can be created and successfully marketed for rapid-access video indexing.  Consumer Electronics as a class utilizes the thrummer workpad and provides more reporting utilities than videotext and other indexing technologies would provide;  however the precision requirements for the workpad grammar are not necessary for this class. 

1.1.          Coaching and Training

Many rapid action field sports cannot be easily thrummed without a voice-recognition software interface added on top of the manual thrummer. 

Football, soccer, basketball, ice-hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, etc. fall into this category, where recognition of the changes to subject (ball to player name) requires the utmost attention, and calling out the name may constitute the most a camera person can do.  Even interval action sports, such as tennis, move too fast for multiple thrums to be attached to a shot or move.

Video stenography has long been used in professional baseball, as a way to allow batters and coaches see how pitchers threw to them, as well as how batters hit against them.

Coordination & Concentration Sports  such as wrestling, karate, figure-skating, gymnastics, golf, diving  are prime markets for thrumming.  Similarly, repetitive motion, strength and endurance sports such as crew, swimming, and track & field provide many opportunities for thrumming to make a difference in players’ perception of their sport. 

Musicianship, theatre and fine arts are all targets for thrumming applications.  The thrummer for the arts will include a laptop interface with which to utilize PDF documents as a scrolling touch-sensitive index, so that theatrical scripts and music scores can be indexed to the paragraph and measure.

Music students and teachers will be shown new ways to work with one another non-synchronously, at a distance… in some cases, with more efficacy than in-person lessons allows.  Thrumming for actors will allow very fine points in vocal and facial expression, body language and on-stage movements to be characterized, compared, and worked on.  It will also provide a very strong platform on which to base auditions and select actors for roles.

The uses for dancing instruction is correlative to that of concentration coordination sports. 

1.2.          Jobs (Surveying & Inventory)

The use of video has long been appreciated for technical training.  Its drawback has generally been cost – for the creation of professional training films could only be paid-back over person-to-person instruction if there were thousands of trainees to train.

Thrumming makes it possible to create DVD videos quickly and easily – almost “on-the-fly.”  The fact that nearly all jobs include computers with CD or DVD playback imminently possible, make nearly all jobs candidates for certain classes of thrumming-based training.  Precision work, hazardous work, specialty maintenance tasks performed once or twice a year are prime candidates – especially where analogue visualizations (such as applying torque, or the coordinated interplay of fingers and tools to accomplish a task) are difficult to describe in text or flow-charts.

Equipment operating skills with rapid decisions, and where minute timings make or break a performance (crane operations, auto racing, etc.) are also ideal for thrumming enhancements.

Wherever large quantities of similar data are being viewed and collected, and where the individual performing the survey must attempt to maintain standards, thrumming provides the ultimate measure of quality control and self-regulation.   Similarly, many complex inventory tasks occur in locations where bar-coding cannot be applied (e.g. agriculture, disaster surveys, engineering site selection) are also ideal for inexpensive video technology support.

1.1.1.    Security Systems

Typically, security systems utilize multiple screens, each rotating through a sequence of views.   Indexing suspicious individuals by category of dress, look, activity, etc., will allow for simple and rapid comparisons and cross-tabulation between sites, as well as develop more visual acuity in guards who become more actively engaged in the surveillance activities through thrumming.

1.1.2.    Insurance Inventories

1.1.3.    Industrial Procedures and Process Development

1.1.4.    System maintenance - Audio/Visual Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Non-Standard Operations.  

Because nearly all modern equipment, down to our automobiles, are controlled with complex computerized systems – with relatively short manufacturing and support lives – and because these systems often require highly specialized support at infrequent intervals – video-based HELP procedures and training are anticipated as the standard interface of the future.  In office copiers, for example, storing and driving video-based troubleshooting procedures is an obvious add-on use of the PC’s  controlling them, the number of copiers sold and the added value to the user makes the addition of video cost-effective with today’s traditional video production technologies.  The majority of manufacturing and laboratory equipment, however, is manufactured and sold in ones and twos, for precise uses in specific factories or construction applications.  These may have settings and components designed and installed once by a single design engineer – with precise troubleshooting conditions known only by one or two people in the manufacturing plant, and passed on to only one maintenance technician at the installed facility.  Thrumming technologies make video the storage medium of choice for all unique documentation requiring hands-on interventions.  Video thrumming in fact, allows systems documentation time to be cut in half (if not much more), eliminating the middle man (technical writer) - making it possible to provide documentation on many aspects of the equipment that are today left out.

Thrumming was, in fact, invented for this exact reason, allowing machine designers to pass on experience and know-how about equipment and systems, based on design decisions known only to them.  The impacts of video documentation on industrial systems will eventually be a core market for thrumming systems.

1.1.5.    Computer screen-based training demos & documentation

1.3.        Judging and Comparing

1.1.5.    Consumer Electronics’ tools for auto shows, dog shows, horseback riding, plant & flower shows, talent shows, beauty contests

1.1.6.    Performance certification.  Teacher training, technical performance certifications for social service workers, emergency response technicians, nursing aids, beauticians, etc.

1.1.7.    Industrial tools for quality analysis, standards & process development.

1.4.        Consumer Electronics

1.1.7.    Video Editing

1.1.8.    Home & Recreation

§         Cataloging family experience (parties, events, trips)
§         Video-based games for movie evaluation, brand-name hunting, etc.
§         Community oral histories

1.1.9.    Demonstration & Web Sales

§         Real estate walk-throughs
§         Video Sales demos - rapid indexing for web-based HTML indexes

1.5.          Cognitive Evaluation & Training (Thrummer as a user-testing-device)

5.1.1.    Psychological response testing (i.e. emotional reactions to film prompts).  The U.S. Military published an SBIR in 2004 for a system to evaluate emotional maturity in officers.  Thrumming systems will be, after adequate baseline psychological research is carried out in academia, the simplest and most effective testing and training base for police, social workers, prison and security officers, and military personnel.

1.6.        Education

In-class teacher-support tools are a major a future development market for Thrumm Sys.  Thrummer tools are not seen as an information delivery mechanism, but rather used for the long-term evaluation of student attention and interest.   Being able to store & report behavioral responses to in-class prompts and exercises in conjunction with standard testing is the key identifying individual learning profiles.  Integrating video logging into the classroom will be resisted as “Big Brother Surveillance,” and will require a long-term phasing-in and effectiveness testing (probably through military training systems).  However Thrumming Education Support Systems (TESS) will be recognized as a major step in analyzing cognitive components of student ability – supporting customized educational deliveries and increased individualized support.

Thrumming Education Support Systems are seen to be the long-term “utility” market for ThrummSys.

1.7.          Component Signal Device and protocol

Thrumming signal devices are seen to be the basis for simple proximity condition signaling for non-related machines (fork-lift trucks signalling security devices of a non-alarm condition, in-plant maintenance machinery signaling environmental sampling devices, etc., bypassing the complexity of setting up  direct LAN connections or transceiver interfaces).

4.       Market Plan

1.1.          From Startup to Large Distribution

The wide range of thrumming applications allows a market plan to focus on high-value applications in national security, industry, and sports for the introduction of the technology.  The market plan is conceived in three segments:  Prototype to Alpha,  Alpha to Version 1 (beta), and Version 2 products.  Version 2 production is seen to be the first mass-marketed thrummer.

Alpha to Version 1 systems will be targeted to markets where hrumming systems can provide a utility, and perceived yearly savings of $50,000 or more.  Custom Thrumming systems will be direct-marketed to the customer by Thrummsys for  between $3000 and $6000.

Version 2 systems will include Consumer Retail markets, manufactured and sold through traditional consumer electronics channels at prices ranging from $120 to $300.  The custom industrial thrumming market will be expanded, and sold through distributors for around $500, with consulting and customization services offered by an independent division of Thrummsys (called for the sake of this business plan, “AVSOP” (Audio-Visual SOP). 

The marketing plan currently foresees Thrummsys Inc. holding onto only proprietary components of thrummer systems, consulting services, and a select core market, such as cognitive evaluation and education systems.

These long-term objectives are to be anticipated from the initial prototyping period, when university research incubators are to be set up, allowing adequate supporting statistics and novel applications to be developed in time for Year 3 or 4 market roll-outs, and the simultaneous sale or licensing of the newly-launched consumer electronics division (lessening the need for massive capitalization which the consumer markets would require).

1.2.          Market Families

To maintain the simplicity and ruggedness of the interface, the thrummer is to be sold within Application Families, and installed by the user as pre-defined for a single line of work. 

Professional/Industrial Thrummers will be sold in four job-related families:  industry & manufacturing, corporate & services, health, and government.

Each of these families allows a possible installation for either of four functional applications:

§         Inventory & Walk-down Survey,

§         Security & Rapid Response,

§         Process & Quality,

§         Human Resource Instrumentation.

Each of the functional applications is customizable by the user, but is limited to functions for the installed application.   Thus, once a user has installed an application for a particular line of work, a separate key must be purchased (and downloaded) for any other application.[8]

The family of Athletic Coach applications allow an installation for a given sport.  Users are limited to the workpad interface options for that sport alone.  Arts applications are sold as a family, with theatre, music, dance, and fine arts processes representing independent workpad applications. 

It should be noted that many of the complex comparison reports designed to aid the sensory recognition of students will require long compilation times, allowing for overnight assembly of the mini-libraries for output to students’ DVDs.

The Consumer Electronics Family includes two applications:  Judge and Home Use.  The Judge installation will defines workpads for automobile, agriculture, hobbiest, educational skills and talents, etc. 

The Home-Use Family will include functionally limited modules for sports and arts, as well as the unique functions included in each of the Professional/Industrial applications.  It will not allow complex report compilation, and will have a restricted Library Engine, as well as limitations to the workpad customization features.  For example, while it will allow the user to thrum all the common sports for community coaching purposes, its reporting engine will  be too limited for school coaching and will probably not include a voice-recognition module. 

1.3.          Product Release

The approach to product release is to first introduce the thrummer into the markets which it hopes to establish a loyal customer base and retain its product eminence: government, industry, health, and education.    This will be followed by the rapid introduction of the consumer market product – initially only in a high-end version priced similar to the government and industry systems.  No major marketing effort will be placed on capturing the consumer market, until release of the low-priced version 2 systems – immediately upon the entry of competitive systems on the market.   Low-cost Version 2 systems, however, will come out no later than mid-year 3, to be distributed through all major retail outlets.

Strategic internet marketing in the video equipment area will promote a “word-of-mouth” presence as the new video editing support tool.  Select reviews in video technology magazines and continuous small advertisements at the back of the magazine will complete this aspect of public awareness.

Alpha-testing will mark the start of a long-term strategy to obtain the statistics for year 2 and 3 release of specialized health-care and public school applications.  Both of these are non-obvious, but high-volume, applications intended to protect THRUMMSYS markets from competition in the more obvious and lucrative trade in athletics, home, and gaming systems.

The availability of prototypes will coincide the launching of the first of several small video documentation operations, to resemble Kinko’s copy centers.  These will provide a small team of industrial video consultants using thrumming technology to provide edited video to the public at a fraction of the cost of competitive edited video productions.   The first such team will alpha-test the developer interface and the video reporting output.

Beta-testing will be part of a two-part marketing strategy – establishing thrummer uses in two high-profile sports (NASCAR and professional sports’ scouting) to be used in advertising at the product’s retail-commercial release. 

Year 1 commercial release will begin with three marketing drives:  1)direct marketing calls to high-volume government markets, 2) trade show and trade journal marketing focused on real estate sales, and 3) trade show and trade journal marketing aimed at corporate human resource development and quality-related training applications.

Audio-Visual Standard Operating Procedures (AVSOP) will be officially launched as an independent franchising operation sometime during Year 1, when it has developed a training and staffing capacity to set up 3-to-4 person business teams.  THRUMMSYS will move aggressively to set up AVSOP services anywhere in the world where high-tech equipment is built.  The overall business goal is to promote the use of video documentation, created using thrummer-built video libraries, thus protecting the Thrummer signal structure as a standard.  The national business goal is to license AVSOP to an existing national franchise such as Kinko’s.

Year 2 will begin with the introduction of the all major retail commercial family applications:  home, arts, athletics, and judging.  Marketing budgets will be minimized throughout the first year of the application, as major efforts must be expended for customer feedback support, perfecting the applications prior to the release of the low-cost Version 2 systems (the so-called “VolksThrummer” or “Thrum-Bug”).

Marketing of Thrummer Arts Systems will be limited to ads in select performance and art trade journals.  Thrummer Arts Systems will only be sold by mail order or through the arts and performing arts school stores. 

Version 1 Home, Athletics, and Judging thrummer systems will be sold as an “exclusive” for the first year, through select high-end retail outlets, and advertised in magazines with highly targeted readerships.

At the same time a number of industrial family systems will be made available at select industrial maintenance outlets, such as Grainger and Agway.  Advertising will be limited to targeted trade journals, and the single Year One advertising effort, select ads associated with Nascar Racing.

At the end of Year 2 after Prototype, the first healthcare product, the Cognitive Evaluation & Training Thrummer will be released for social services training, military and police academies, and mental health clinics.   (Its release should precede that of a competitive product funded by the U.S. Army through a Small Business Innovative Research grant posted in the spring of 2004, to provide the army with a tool for  emotional maturity analysis and development.)

1.4.          Gaining and Maintaining Market Share

The Thrummer is a unique tool which extends the use of DVD video.  Its technology will be protected primarily by patent and trademark rights.  Outside of the proprietary algorithms for extracting signals from background noise, it must be assumed that the underlying structure of the systems can be easily determined and copied through reverse engineering.

Imitations, however, will have to decide whether to compete with the same signal structure and risk a patent battle, or to introduce a competitive product using a different indexing approach altogether.  

THRUMMSYS’s entry into the industrial and government markets prior to entering the consumer electronics’ market is meant to discourage this latter decision.  International markets will be entered through World Bank and United Nations’ applications, and thrumming video libraries will be included in the help-utilities of high-tech equipment controllers through AVSOP marketing. 

Thus, other approaches to on-the-spot indexing and reporting will face the greater risk of a battle over the use of standard component equipment, based on the final decisions of international standards’ committees such as SMPTE and MPG, and will have to enter the consumer electronics market with excessive force and commitment.  Because THRUMMSYS founding partners are associated with both SMPTE and MPG committees, and because the thrumming structures are to be built in line with the Sony-backed Metadata Exchange Format, it is doubtful that competitors will choose to create an alternative metadata signal structure, or include a direct-connect metadata index on a separate track which only their equipment can read.  Rather, it is anticipated that they will choose to remain compatible with thrumming signals, and license components of the thrummer technology for their own proprietary systems.

One optional goal for THRUMMSYS is to become poised for the release of the low-cost Version 2 of the retail-consumer systems and sell these, prior to release to a major company with the market and distribution reach in the consumer electronics’ field.

Based on Board decisions, THRUMMSYS could maintain rights to the education and health-care applications, as well as selected industrial and/or government families of applications.


FIGURE 1 – MARKETING PLAN (example, see attached Excel Spreadsheet – 5Yr Markets)





Cognitive Evaluation & Training (Thrummer as a user-testing-device)



Release prototype to military research & univ. research w/funding

Rapid Response Operating Skill evaluation, comparison & feedback



NASCAR Trade Mags – prototype release for pre-marketing hype

Judging, comparative evaluation (Prof. Sports’ Scouts)



Direct marketing – prototype release for pre-mkt hype

Insurance, disaster recovery inventory



Gov. Direct Mkt.,

Trade journal conferences

Special maintenance tasks (military)



Security systems, vigilance & training



Health, industrial, agric. Inventory



Video editing, production, sorting and documentation tasks



Video, Training/HR

Trade journals /conferences; AVSOP (Audio Visual Standard Operating Procedure) Video Documentation Services

Corporate Experience – Video DeBriefing

Quality Analysis, Standards & Prototype development

Family experience, parties,trips, oral history



Athletic Mags, Video Mags

specialty sports (i.e. Dicks) &

industrial maintenance outlet (Grainger)

NASCAR-related ads,

QA Trade Journals.

The Contest Judge – (hobbies, talents, flowers)

Concentration/Coordination:  wrestling, karate,figure-skating, gymnastics, diving

Interval Action Athletics: baseball, cricket, tennis

Repetitive Strength/endurance sports: swimming, crew, marathon

Rapid Action Field Sports: football, soccer, basketball, ice-hockey

hazardous work (fireman training)



Industrial procedure (and process) development

Speciality maintenance tasks

precision work

Musicianship – non-synchronous & distance-learning with instructors



Playbills & performance/art

 school trade mags


Theatre (speaking, acting – comparative performance critiques)

Cognitive Evaluation & Training

 (Thrummer as a user-testing-device)



Research Journals



1.1.          The Origins of Thrumming

The concept for thrumming was developed by Thrummsys founder, Harry Jackendoff in the mid-1980’s when Mr. Jackendoff was Director of Training at Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation.   It became clear how valuable video was as an information tool in surveying engineering sites and performing work evaluation.  It was also clear that a methodology for indexing tape was required to save hundreds of valuable hours, and to make video into a true information storage and retrieval medium. 

Mr. Jackendoff began research in the man-machine interface that was to become the thrummer[9] and delivered several papers on “Video Debriefing” at International Research Conference for Adult Education.   His proposed video documentation system interface was accepted for the 3rd International Conference of Human Computer Interface in Hamburg Germany for 1987 – a presentation which, in conjunction with Cheikna Sylla of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Drexel University, he declined to give in order to protect future patentability of the thrummer.  Stone & Webster gave him the patent rights to his invention during a lay-off in 1989. 

His work at the time was all predicated around the work-pad interface, but it assumed that ASCII content would be placed onto the SMPTE audio track as the basis for indexing.  No working prototypes for video indexing were ever built.  An independent work-pad interface was introduced in 1992 by Data Entry Systems, Inc. of Huntsville AL.  It had been developed by Tom Beaseley, a developer of Intergraph Computer Graphics Systems.

Mr. Jackendoff became the Northeast Regional Sales representative for Data Entry Systems, and became intimately familiar with large-scale applications for the thrummer in government, agriculture, manufacturing, and services at that time.   Throughout that period, however, it seemed unfeasible to seek out investment in the index-recording and read-out technologies with the future advent of digital media within the decade.

It was in the late 1990’s that conversations between Jackendoff and an old high school friend Dave Stone suggested the current solution for thrumming systems.

Dave worked as a Hollywood sound engineer, and mentioned a home-grown indexing technique the Hollywood old-timers had always used to mark key points in the audio track.  They generated low-frequency sounds below the audible range, which became easily audible when the film was being fast-forwarded (or reversed) over the audio heads.   This was the conceptual connection needed to make thrumming a reality.

In 2004, Harry Jackendoff contacted Stone and suggested they submit a preliminary patent on the thrumming concept.  The patent application was written to cover indexing through the intentional modification of the recording subject through either audio or light spectra.

Jackendoff’s discussions with the Media Lab at Columbia University, and Stone’s discussions with a principle specialty Audio Engineering Firm in Studio City (Fultek) confirmed the feasibility of generating and extracting high frequency audio signals.  Columbia professor Dan Ellis referred the team to Vadim Gerasimov’s work at the MIT Media Lab “Machines that Talk”  IBM Systems Journal 2000.   Thus, Thrummsys, Inc.

1.2.          The Thrummer Team - Vitae

§   Richard Cann – 30 years in computer systems, with a PhD from Princeton, Rich is President of Black Diamond Systems – developing enterprise systems for the financial industry.

§   Duane Ellis – Over 20 years in computer systems, Duane was the lead hardware device engineer for Franklin Electronic Publishing, having a hand in firmware of all of its hand-held job-aids since its inception in the mid-1980’s.

§   Jim Fulmis – 50 years in sound engineering, Jim is the President of Fultek, a firm specializing in custom Hollywood film production audio technologies.  With over a dozen marketed audio technologies, Jim was the originator of the DTS Audio Standard – the ranking alternate to Dolby Sound.

§   Jeffrey Habeck – 25 years in computer systems, with a BS from Rochester Institute of Technology, Jeff was a senior systems consultant for IBM, and IT Manager for a major NY systems house, and a full-time staff member at Chubb Institute.

§   Harry Jackendoff – 25 years in Training and Documentation, Harry has developed training systems for manufacturing plants, including a laboratory installation at the National Security Agency in Beltsville, MD.

§   Ray Jackendoff, Professor of Linguistics and Volen Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University – world renowned, MIT-trained linguist and cognitive scientist, Ray’s works span the underlying structural theory of semantics (1969), the Generative Theory of Tonal Music (1983), and since the mid-1990’s, numerous works on cognition and structuring of sense-data.

§   David Stone – Film Sound Engineer for over 30 years in Hollywood, Dave has produced soundtracks for over 50 feature films, with an Oscar for one of them on his mantle-piece.  He has been on Academy Award-winning audio teams for several classic 20th century films.  He is currently on the faculty of DePauw University.

Organization Chart 1 – STARTUP to PROTOTYPE & PATENT

Thrummsys Inc., Office

Thrummsys Inc. will be physically located in Mercer County, NJ, in proximity to Princeton.  Harry Jackendoff, Jeffrey Habeck, Richard Cann, and Duane Ellis will work locally.  Dave Stone, Jim Fulmis will “telecommute” from their offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, respectively.

1.1.          Thrummer Systems Development

Organization Chart 2 – Alpha to Release 1

1.4.          Staffing – Alpha to Release 1

After the initial prototype, Year 1 of product development will require an organizational structure as shown in Chart 2, above. 
The amount of software code required over the prototype for the first marketed applications will require a team of ten. The base number of employees will be forty (40) with an average yearly cost to the company of $85K including compensation, pension, 401K, insurance, etc.  Base staff will be as follows: Corporate (5), Workpad Development (7), Quality (3), Sales & Marketing (2), Software & Hardware Development (6), Media & Models (9), Production and Packaging (2).
Media & Models Division (M&M) represents the traditional Documentation Services Group. Since this represents the core of the company business, and the basis of an eventual spin-off into the AVSOP franchises, M&M will be structured as an individual profit/cost center.  In developing all documentation services for the other divisions as required by the Quality Group, M&M will also become the core R&D for the organization.requiring development services from Systems Integration and sales and product assistance from Products.
At the start of Year 2, Consumer Electronics workpads (to include all Coaching and Training systems) will need rapid development in preparation the low-cost Version 2  (the “Volksthrummer” or “Thrumbug”), to be released in Year 3 after prototype.  Workpad development staff can be expected to reach 20, with the addition of an Assistant to HR.  Coders will move over to the system development tasks of workpad analysis.  Sales and Marketing will require an additional team of 3, Production and Packaging will be stable, with the bulk of work being outsourced.  The Quality and Testing group will be increased to a team of 4.  The staff requirements for Year 2 are thus estimated at between 58-60.
All workpad development staff will become the future core of AVSOP Consulting Services.  The highly specialized requirements of government, agriculture, industry and manufacturing workpad development is expected to evolve into one-on-one consulting services, for design, testing, and roll-out.  Thus, with Version 2, AVSOP franchises will provide customized thrummer interfaces for all but the standard Consumer Electronics and Education models.
NOTE:  Depending on Board analysis, at Version 2, the Consumer Electronics Division (Athletics, Arts, Home-users) may be wholly licensed-out or sold outright, maintaining the ownership and sales of signal components.   Taking this approach, Thrummer Systems can focus on technology development and the creation of new services and markets, rather than on distribution and sales support.

1.5.          Budgets and Schedules

1.1.1.     Startup to Prototype

The development of the first working prototype of the system is anticipated to take four to six months, with a staff budget of approximately $300,000, and an estimated operating budget (incorporation, patent, overhead & equipment costs of $150,000).   Schedules 1 & 2 detail the tasks – with Schedule 1 providing a demonstration system prior to major investment.   The staff budget is predicated on standard consultant fees and partial equity payments to partners.  Only three partners will be working full-time, and the schedules have been adjusted (“levelized”) to insure that no task responsibilities overlap (e.g. each person is scheduled for no more than an 8-hr day).

1.1.2.     Alpha Model to Release 1(Beta)

Budget requirements for Year 1 after Prototype are based on a full-time staff of 40, coming to $3,400,000 for Year 1 with an operations budget of approximately $300,000, and market rollout costs (packaging and marketing) based on the marketing plan shown in Figure 1, above.   Year 2 after Prototype are based on a full-time staff of 60, coming to $5,100,000 with an operations budget estimated at $400,000. Financing for the marketing and projected product releases during Years 1 and 2 will be substantial, and will be could amount to nearly $10M for Release 1.   


Schedule 1 – Creation of Proof-of-Concept Prototype

Schedule 2 – Prototype for Alpha Test & Patent


Alpha and Version 1 Models





First Target


Target Sales


$M net*

Security systems, vigilance & training






Rapid Response Operating Skill evaluation, comparison & feedback




Judging, comparative evaluation (Prof. Sports’ Scouts)




Rapid Response Operating Skill evaluation, comparison & feedback








Judging, comparative evaluation (Certifiications)




Insurance, disaster recovery inventory




Special maintenance tasks (military)




Security systems, vigilance & training




Health, industrial, agric. Inventory




Video editing, production, sorting and documentation tasks




*The net is calculated on 9% of the estimated retail market sale

[1] The innovation of film came soon after the invention of Daguerreotypes in the mid-19th century, as a way for artists to analyze motion.  Several cameras would be activated as the subject being ‘filmed’ would break threads, attached to springs on the camera shutters.  The individual photos could then be aligned on a turning cylinder which, when viewed through a pin-hole, reproduced the image of the subject’s motion.

[2] This is at or above the uppermost range for a human-audible sound.  While recording, because of the tymbal placement, the thrum won’t be heard.  On playback if the thrum signals have not been digitally scrubbed, children will generally hear them as a chirp, while older adults may hear a blip or nothing at all.

[3] In nature, a “tymbal” is the mechanism by which male cicadas produce their characteristic humming noise.  

[4] This is closer to the historical origins of film as a system for artists to analyze motion, and for the time and motion studies of early industrial engineering.

[5] The “menu of meanings” to be applied to video segments by the user may be given a unique name in thrumming.  Since it is a single page or screen defining a keypad, it may be called a “participage,” a “participad,” or “recording board.”  For purposes of this business plan, however, it will be called simply a “workpad.”

[6] Depending on the model camera, a different arrangement of the thrummer clipboard and camera holder is required.  A clipboard/camera armature fitting on the forearm is envisioned which will allow full camera control while providing a stable surface against which to thrum.

[7] The history of function keys which changed the keyboard properties was considered “handy” by only a select few old-timers.  It was considered unwieldy by most.

[8]           Users will have adequate options to customize their workpad interface for their own job and to reflect their own way of doing work.  However, the programming structure for their interface is carefully constrained to maintain the integrity of signal and the syntax supporting output reporting.

At present, it is felt that the more freedom the user is given to create workpads from scratch, the more programming and debugging overhead will be required to maintain final report functionality and overall ease of use.  Minimizing user frustration is more important that providing unlimited freedom of choice.

[9] The concept of a printed paper interface was actually suggested by the Corporate Ombudsman, Cornelius Weygandt III – then 95, the same person who managed the differential analyzer at Penn during WWII, and who hired Eckart and Mauchley for work on what eventually became Eniac.