Rough Cut Video (2.5 min) and Field Notes of live streaming
May Day on Wall Street (Aug 2012)
Proposal for Knight Foundation News Challenge (Mar 2012)
Operator-Assisted Live Webcam Network (Slideshow) (Dec 2011)
A Modest Prototype for NYU ITP "Summer Camp" (Jun 2011)
USC Patent (Apr 2011) (USC Description)
Scenarios Sketches Slidehow by Bill Verplank (Mar 2011)
Statement about the Interval Lawsuit (Jan 2011)
Original Text (Aug 2010)
Can a live unscheduled webcast go from 0 to 10,000 viewers in 1 minute?
We believe it’s finally possible and we’d like to prove it. We’d also like to show the wider range of opportunities. The game changer was FaceTime, Apple’s video calling feature for the iPhone 4. It’s not an app, it’s a phone number, or email address, seamlessly integrated into the calling process. It’s also an open standard, and we expect it to be widely adopted (or at least widely emulated). But FaceTime is currently only used for one-to-one video calling, not one-to-many video webcasting.
We have a way to webcast FaceTime (and “facetime”) from one to many. Our solution currently accommodates only a small number of webcasters but any size audience. We plan to combine our one-to-many webcasting feature with organized use of the “Twittersphere” as a means of rapid propagation.
We intend to give carefully selected webcasters access to our technology. They’ll be invited to webcast in entirely unscheduled, spontaneous ways. Our webcasters will include celebrities and others with large Twitter followers, but also “activists, poets, and saints” – people who may have their own interesting moments to share. We expect to learn a great deal during this phase, then expand access to registered users.
Liiive.tv is based in New York City.
Michael Naimark initiated Kundi.com, a real time video search engine, as a spinoff venture from Interval Research Corporation in 2000. He’s a professor of Interactive Media at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. An essay of Michael’s ranks #1 (of 100 million results) on Google searches for live global video.
Shawn Van Every is a professor at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program where he has been the department lead for mobile, networked video and web. He has recently written a book on media programming with Android mobile phones. Shawn built his first mobile webcasting system in 2004.
FaceTime is the first seamless video calling experience, using the world's most ubiquitous interface, a phone number. It’s also an open standard. And being the first, it’s in the public’s eye. We like the iPhone 4 (Steve Jobs: “It’s like a Leica camera.”) but see this mainly as a sexy opportunity. We're also exploring ways to adapt FaceTime, and “facetime”, for Android phones.
Will people watch?
Ustream recently hosted a live stream of a promotional event for Zynga’s Mafia Wars Las Vegas featuring Snoop Dogg blowing up a car. 2 million simultaneous viewers tuned in. While this was scheduled as is most popular Ustream programming, it shows an increasing appetite for live and celebrity in online video.
What’s wrong with current webcasting sites?
They suffer the legacy of early adopter design, not made “for the rest of us. Do a search for “squirrel” on Ustream (which differs from “squirrels” btw). Two image sets appear. The upper one has 566 results and is ambiguously labeled. Only 4 appear to actually be live. The lower one is labeled “Recordings” and has 980 results. Similar flaws can be seen on Qik, while Justin and Livestream intermix professional broadcast with user-generated webcasts. All have overly complicated UI.
And what about current webcasting experience?
Several of the webcaster sites write “It’s as simple as 1-2-3”. This is code for “not simple”. Mobile cameras should seamlessly webcast and not require multiple steps. The webcaster should see the number of viewers in real time, and have options for entering tags and exchanging chat. Additionally, no alert infrastructure currently exists to propagate knowledge of webcasts in real time beyond ad hoc use of Twitter.
We intend to fully exploit our contacts and connections in NYC to find the best and brightest with whom to work and collaborate. Shawn is a long-time NYU ITP professor who specializes in exactly our area. He’s directly and indirectly in touch with the 2,500 strong ITP alumni community and has been actively consulting. We’re tracking Mayor Bloomberg’s NYC EDC opportunities for new media businesses. Michael was drafted on the original shortlist for Executive Director of the NYC Media Lab.
So what’s with the bad spelling?
First, for the record, it’s simply pronounced “Live” (or Live-dot-TV). The L, in lower case, represents the “one” while the three “i”s (particularly in san serif) represent the many. It affords a very special branding opportunity for using triple vowels (and maybe triple consonants) to implicitly refer to us. Like how Flickr, with its dropped “e”, was adopted by Mappr, Color Pickr, etc. Coool? Riiight!
Did we make a concept video?
We didn’t need to: Cisco made it for us. It’s 30 seconds (and note that 0:16-0:18 there’s a cut back to the boy, an explicit sign that the whole thing is live).
How do I learn more?
Please contact Michael or Shawn directly.