Mobile Webcasting Gets Unwired
During the course of my career, webcasting has played a fairly significant role. If you define a virtual experience as being able to interact with an event taking place elsewhere, then I guess I have been in the virtual events business for a long while. I enjoy keeping pace with the new technology that comes along that is geared specifically for webcasting, and that will be the focus of today’s post.
My eye for mobile webcasting technology has always been the same- build it better and build it smaller. After all, you can’t be truly mobile if you have a satellite truck following you around. Even today’s technology can be limited when talking about mobile broadband speeds, however one company has found an impressive workaround for this issue. The Kyte LivePro Unwired is fairly small backpack with a clever payload. Inside, the LivePro is a computer connected to six data cards, which are connected to three different carriers (AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon). The technology at the backend is the LiveU, which reassembles all the video packets and turns them back into a live video stream.
Simply connect a decent camera via the firewire interface, and press go. Your video is instantly streamed to the Kyte website, or embedded within your site. The freedom and mobility to travel inside and out, without a trail of cables, is a something any cameraman will enjoy. Expected speeds for the uplink is between 700k and 1mb, which is many times what you could get from a mobile phones, and more reliable. This will enable you to stream close to broadcast quality, which has caught the attention of many news outlets and sports organizations. The cost of this unit compared to renting/owning typical ENG style gear is significant cheaper, lowering the barrier of entry for many.
From the perspective of a corporate conference like Cisco Live, it offers the ability to capture a behind the scenes perspective. I would like to see a well-known writer or blogger sent around the conference with one of these devices and a camera following him, capturing the look and feel of the conference and the attendees. Impromptu interviews, booth reviews, and celebrity appearances should make for interesting viewing. Our goal is always to immerse our virtual audience as much as possible, and this technology is being considered for our 2011 event.
Aside from the technology, the pricing is also unique. The backpack is offered as a month-to-month rental without commitment of $2,500 per month, and yearly rental is $1,500 per month plus shipping. 30 hours of live streaming are included in that deal, via LiveStream. The Kyte product does not have pricing yet, but is getting a lot of buzz right now at NAB in Las Vegas.