Witbe, a specialist in testing automation and monitoring for video services, has developed a new AI-powered algorithm for service providers. Called Smart Navigate, the algorithm can substantially reduce the time required to script automated tests for set-top boxes and mobile applications.
Smart Navigate is the most recent such integration for Witbe, whose team has been working with artificial intelligence and machine learning for nearly 20 years to help service providers cut back on the time they devote to repetitive tasks.
Automated and Proactive
Witbe’s automated testing and proactive system monitors video on physical devices connected to a Witbox, the company’s line of testing hardware, because viewers watch content on Smart or Apple TVs, mobile phones, tablets, Android devices, set-top boxes, gaming consoles and so on. A hardware approach allows Witbe to measure the true quality the viewer receives, and consequently their system can replicate the user behaviour of nearly any device or network, located anywhere.
Automated tests are programmed in Workbench, Witbe’s scripting software, which now features the new Smart Navigate algorithm. Smart Navigate uses machine learning to automatically understand and align with menu structure and input, allowing the tests to browse streaming video apps autonomously and without prior programming. Through this process, a Witbox can navigate and test apps without requiring every step to be coded in advance.
“I am very proud of our team’s use of AI to create Smart Navigate,” said Mathieu Planche, CEO of Witbe. “It has already been deployed by several streaming video service providers, who have seen markedly improved monitoring workloads. One of them has been able to complete the scripting process up to 10 times faster with the help of Smart Navigate.”
Traditionally, when programming a test to locate the video-on-demand (VOD) menu in an app, testers would have to code every button press on a remote device until the test navigated to the correct menu. They would then repeat this process for every device the app ran on.
Going for Code
With Smart Navigate, the code is simply ‘Go to VOD menu’. Through a combination of machine learning and computer vision, the test will analyze and understand the menu, undertaking all the necessary steps to arrive at the location it was programmed to find – on its own. Furthermore, the prompt will work on any device being tested.
Smart Navigate also has a significant impact on testing teams working with a steady stream of updated app versions. Compared to previous programming methods on Workbench, scripting an advanced QA test, for instance, has gone from a six-hour to a two-hour task. Altering tests to adapt to button location changes or to different devices is now automatic. Updating 1,000 tests with a small UI change previously took a month, while Smart Navigate can complete the updates instantly.
Smart Navigate, Workbench and the full line of Witbox products is available now. Smart Navigate is Witbe’s central focus at IBC2023 in Amsterdam. www.witbe.net