The Tech Behind ABC News' Election 2012 Studio
If you caught World News over the past two nights you might have noticed its new temporary digs. The studio, located in Times Square, is the home of ABC News' 2012 election coverage. And while it will be that very room that brings you the latest results from the big race tonight, it is also one very high tech studio.
In the center floor of the studio is a large, high-resolution circular LED screen (a Barco NX4, if you're looking for specifics). In the picture above, the ABC logo is shown on the display, but during broadcasts it will also show graphics, including polling data and maps. The screen, which you cannot stand on, has been covered with a fusion material to prevent glare. At the top of that circle sit the election night anchors - Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos. It all makes for a pretty stunning visual when the camera pans out, which you can check out this clip below:
Around the circle sits three rows of desks (two of researchers, another with ABC News political experts) and behind them another big screen. That screen, which is actually made up of seven vertical screens, will show the latest polling data.
But perhaps the most interesting screens live in the corner. It's there that Katie Couric will command the social media news, displaying information on one large 82-inch touchscreen and on another transparent screen (internally being called the "Minority Report" screen). The front-projected "Minority Report" display (pictured left in the photo below) will pull in tweets to @katiecouric with the hashtag #yourvote. The other screen (pictured right below) will show various social media and search data graphics; Couric will be tapping and touching it on air.
Couric along with a team of 20 dedicated to social media will be sifting through Google and Yahoo trends (what people are searching for in real time through those sites), millions of tweets and Instagram photos. On top of that the team will also be using Topsy to analyze the sentiment of tweets along with Storyful and Storify to help mine the content. Couric along with ABC News' social media lead Andrew Springer will be live tweeting from the set as well.
Back uptown at ABC News' studios and offices on 66th Street the digital team will be streaming a separate live, anchored show on ABCNews.com, Yahoo.com, GoodMorningAmerica.com, and YouTube. The team will also be updating an interactive map / inforgraphic with real-time results.
Maya Baratz and Andrew Springer contributed to this article.