Someone You Should Know: Julia Kenyon, Verance – New Vice-Chair of the S38 Specialist Group

The S38 Specialist Group on Interactive Environment examines and assesses technical proposals regarding interactive applications and their companion devices for ATSC 3.0. This analysis is done in order to develop Standards and Recommended Practices that describe a supporting environment delivered via the next-generation digital terrestrial television broadcast system.   The group has produced the A/344 standard which is based on W3C technologies supplemented by APIs designed for the broadcast television use case. The group is also responsible for the A/338 Companion Device standard which describes how network-connected devices may interact with an ATSC 3.0 receiver.

Julia Kenyon, Principal Technical Product Manager at Verance, is the new Vice Chair of S38.

“I work closely with our systems, engineering and business teams to determine product features and feasibility. This is my first official product manager position, although product management has been a significant part of my career for many years. The common thread throughout my career has been figuring out how to explain things to people, first as a tech writer, then as a requirements analyst and a technical lead. The main difference is that now I have the opportunity to write about how things should be instead of how they currently are,” Kenyon explains.

With a background in technical writing, she says, “I probably write more now as a product manager than I did as a technical writer. As a tech writer, you end up making a lot of changes to existing documents in order to keep up with product evolution, but as a product manager you write about what those changes should be, including implementation details and justifications.”

Kenyon traces her interest in ATSC 3.0 to the work Verance has done to help create the standard.  She serves as Vice-Chair of S38 and is also a member of a number of groups, including S33 and S33-1, S34, and S37.

“I think that ATSC 3.0 can have a significant positive impact on the industry, depending on what broadcasters choose to implement. I hope that broadcasters, receiver manufacturers, and everyone in between can make full use of the features that ATSC 3.0 has to offer, and take this opportunity to automate workflows, standardize the use of content identifiers, and make use of other tools to streamline and enhance content delivery to consumers. If even a small percentage of the new features are adopted, I think that the everyday consumer will find that broadcast TV can offer similar experiences to online viewing, but with the additional advantages of broadcast distribution.

When she’s not at work, Kenyon keeps busy with a variety of family activities, including hiking, biking, and going to her son’s hockey games. “I spend too much time on the Internet. I have a lot of hobbies and lately I’ve been spending time making jewelry and cooking with food grown in our backyard.”

She also enjoys traveling, reading, and most non-winter outdoor activities. “I don’t have an official bucket list, but I’d like to go back to Iceland and Australia, and also go to Alaska, Argentina, Colombia, and various places in Europe — especially a pilgrimage to the Scottish island of Islay for whisky!”