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Easy to use video capture and sharing application

How do you help a simple private video sharing app idea grow into a remarkable user generated content application?

Innominds helped produce a system for consumers to capture real-time videos on their mobile phones used by broadcasters to show on live TV.

THE PROBLEM

With the rise of mobile technology, users are always connected and able to broadcast messages and videos to the world with the tap of a finger. In this new world user generated content and social networking has begun to compete with traditional TV broadcasting for the attention of consumers. The 2012 TV & Video Consumer Trend Report found that 62% of people use social media while watching TV.

As users look to content created by their follow fan, friend, or comrade, capturing and controlling this content is emerging as an asset to media companies and TV broadcasters. Innominds’s client, Burst, saw an opportunity to help broadcasters to capture user generated content in real-time, aggregate it and make it available to broadcast on Live TV.

The solution was to create a visual content sharing tool that would act as a bridge between mobile and broadcast television.

For the idea to work it had to be super easy for users to capture images and the system had to be extremely fast to make real-time video available to broadcast while it is still relevant. The virtually unlimited size of video uploads made performance a particularly sticky issue.

Ensuring that any user could quickly and easily capture content also required a user experience that was designed for the right context and environment. For example. a standard use case for the service would be a TV channel with rights to an event telecast crowdsourcing content from the live audience. Here, getting spectators to install an app while actively participating in the event would be a real challenge.

Videos & Photo Sharing

THE PROCESS

To capitalize on the market opportunity, Burst needed to move quickly, recognizing the requirements of the market and incorporate them into the service. The traditional method of creating software with a liner process of research, technical invention, and business innovation would not work; a more nimble and iterative approach was needed. To quickly adapt to changing market conditions, Innominds and Burst simultaneously researched the market, built software and experimented with new business models.

One of the realizations that emerged from this iterative process was the discovery that users often did not want to download an app to share their content. Providing a mobile website and link for people to upload content to was much more of a user-friendly solution.

To ensure that the sight remained easy-to-use and robust, it had to be flexible and nimble enough to incorporate new features as needs arose. A MVC framework was the best way to approach this problem. Unfortunately the now popular Angular framework was not available and Innominds had to rely on the less mature JavascriptMVC. This required a significant amount of work up-front to fill holes in the nascent framework, but the added flexibility paid off in the long run.

The requirement for speedy uploads with limited bandwidth also presented technical challenges. By deploying multi-threading technology, different bits of a video could be uploaded in parallel, utilizing the entire available bandwidth.

INNOMINDS SUCCESSFUL SOLUTION

THE SOLUTION

When Burst first approached us, the idea was to build a simple, easy-to-use video capture and sharing application for consumers. But as we, together, discovered the potential of User Generated Content (UGC) and its role in Broadcast TV, that focus changed. We eventually produced an application that businesses could use to aggregate user-generated content, curate it and broadcast it to live TV.

We also helped our client create a mobile website that enabled consumers to capture videos and images that were automatically uploaded to Burst’s platform. When tested, our speeds and upload file size capabilities were comparable to popular applications like Box, Dropbox and Aspera.

THE OUTCOME

Working with our client, we were able to create a system that is changing the face of broadcast television. After launching the product, Burst increased their customer base by 75% and teamed up with some of the biggest and most respected media companies in the world, including The Weather Channel, CNBC, Viacom and NESN.

And even though this relationship began in a few years ago in 2011, we still, today, continue to add value to our client today in many other projects.

Practices Involved

Case Studies