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Periscope, live streaming and the 'potential gap'

Periscope, live streaming and the ‘potential gap’

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Remember your first tweet? Many users of Twitter shared their first tweet last week and commented how embarrassed they were about it. The reason? Many of the first tweets displayed a a tentativeness – of being unsure how to use this new platform. Over the years many have become ‘experts’ at using the platform for whatever they choose to do best – sharing interesting articles, news, opinions or simply self promotion. Live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope have gained tremendous traction over the last two weeks; the latter more so perhaps, because there is a synergy with Twitter feeds. However, one cannot but see a similarity between the early years of Twitter and that of Periscope & Meerkat.

Most of the live streaming videos are flippant, even inane. The streams include live video of sunsets, what one is doing right now and other such ‘light’ moments, if we can call it that. But the potential is for all to see – capturing a live news worthy incident, clips of live concerts and sporting events – the potential is immense. As this TechCrunch article concluded: “live streaming has immense potential for knowledge exchange, shared experience and empathy – as long as we know when to keep our spigots closed”. But the spigots will not get closed right now as such apps are like shiny new toys – we all want to play with them. The apps are currently iOS only and the floodgates are likely to truly open up when the Android versions are launched giving access to many more consumers. Switching off notifications of such live streams is a double edged sword. The ‘fear of being left out’ takes over and many users are likely to simply grin and bear it.

What effect will such constant distractions have on human interactions? They are likely to come in more shapes (round or square), sizes (38 mm or 42 mm) and places (on your wrist or pocket). One can only hope that the upside to such distractions is the positive impact that such new technology can possibly have. For every inane tweet about eating a sandwich there are examples of the platform having contributed to so may positive moments – impacting millions globally. One hopes the potential gap is bridged soon with live streaming apps too.

holding-new-meerkat-app

Meerkat, Play Store and more: week that was in tech and mobile

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The lines between digital, mobile, technology and apps are blurring in today’s world. We at Robosoft are keen followers of developments in this arena. At the end of every week, we will share with you highlights of news items which caught our eye in this space.

Meerkat: product and buzz

If you thought the app development market was beginning to get stale with cookie-cutter approach to apps and app marketing, think again. There is a lot of talk in the app industry about problems of app discovery and getting lost in the clutter. Many have attempted to make a fortune in this business only to end up with apps or games which never make it to the top or create buzz. However, when apps become popular the reasons-why are clear to see. They meet a need or solve a problem, they are engaging and easy to use, they are designed well and provide great user experience. Sometimes, apps have the power to disrupt not just the app industry but related industries they operate in. Live streaming music apps, check in apps, instant messaging apps and many more have gone on to impact related industries.

Meerkat, the live video streaming app has gained phenomenal traction in two weeks and has the potential to disrupt several categories. It is remarkable that it has gained such a fan following and buzz all within two weeks.

Meerkat VC
 
BBC’s Washington bureau used Meerkat recently to cover live news events. Amateurs are seeing it as a great tool to broadcast videos live with literally no setup or investments required. Potentially it could be used to broadcast live news, music & other entertainment events, sports, training videos and so much more. No wonder Meerkat has attracted high profile investments too.

Meerkat seems to have found that happy intersection of a great product and marketing buzz. Twitter users seem to have fallen in love with it and seems to be growing despite Twitter putting some restrictions on it. Meerkat was first discovered on Product Hunt and got a bigger platforms at the recent SXSW – which are phenomenal platforms for discovery. With Twitter buying Periscope, the live streaming app scenario will see some healthy competition soon. Which can only mean good news for consumers.

Google Play to review apps by staff

Until now, the app approval process at Google Play was relatively simple, compared to the App Store process. Google revealed last week that app submissions will go through a review process – internal team of reviewers will analyze apps for policy violations prior to publication. Also an age-based ratings system for games and apps on Google Play will be in place.

Health Lab for Apple Watch

Apple gave ABC News exclusive access to its top secret health and fitness lab. The lab is fitted with ‘climate chambers’ where participants test the watch in different environments.  The watch was also test in live environments of Alaska and Dubai, apparently. Apple is making sure that the story behind the creation of Apple Watch gets through to media and potential consumers prior to launch.

Apple

Apple Watch, ResearchKit: new frontiers for apps

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As with any Apple event, there is much speculation prior to the event and analysis post the event. The ‘Spring Forward’ event held earlier this week is no different. The post analysis event is perhaps even more this time with lots of online discussions on the pros and cons of the luxury pricing of the Edition variant.

From an app development perspective the Spring Forward event presents a great new opportunity. With the Apple Watch one cannot but help compare its launch to that of the iPhone in 2007. Back then the phone was launched without the App Store and breath-taking apps. Those happened later. And the apps were the magnet which attracted users to the OS leading to the ‘there’s an app for that’ phrase. With the Apple Watch, while some apps have been showcased, they are perhaps like a trailer. The big opportunity and the creative possibilities are yet to be unleashed. The Alarms.com app which was showcased at the Apple event drew a lot of attention. App Developers can be expected to come up with more such apps spanning utility and entertainment. How about a game that utilises the glance of the watch to its advantage? Or digital touch? The possibilities are endless.

Apple’s foray into medical research, the ResearchKit initiative is another exciting development, no pun intended. To quote Apple, ResearchKit is an open source software framework that makes it easy for researchers and developers to create apps that could revolutionize medical studies, potentially transforming medicine forever. The upside of this project is the ease of signing on and usage. According to Stanford, 11,000 iPhone owners signed up for a heart health study through this, in the first 24 hours. While there are downsides to this initiative, the potential to make a positive impact is huge. And developers can play a key role in it.

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