RealTime IT News

Visualize This: With So Much Video, It's Hard Not To

PALM DESERT, CALIF. -- Video was a hot topic here at the DEMO conference, with companies showing new ways to store, post, send, create and protect videos on the Web.

Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur said watching video on the Web is a lot like staring at an aquarium: It's nice for a while, but there's no interactivity. Seesmic, a video-sharing site, changes all that.

The company showed new features it plans to roll out later this year such as video reply and a version for mobile users. Although the service is not yet publicly available, more than 3,000 users have been actively testing it.

Seesmic lets you post video entries to its site or send a link to your blog or services such as Twitter. Then others see what you're up to.

Le Meur said Seesmic has users testing the service in 25 different countries and posting, on average, a new video about once every minute.

Users can scroll or search through all the videos at Seesmic's home page or select from someone's profile to see videos. "We all want to follow our friends and have conversations; why not do it with video?" Le Meur said.

Ironically, two of the presenting companies were working at cross-purposes: one effectively limiting certain types of video distribution on the Web and the other promising to greatly expand the market.

Eyealike is a new service designed to help copyright holders identify their content on the Web posted illegally. "We've talked to the movie studios and the record companies, and they can't figure out how much infringement is going on at user-generated sites," said Greg Heuss, president of Eyealike. "The accuracy isn't where it needs to be."

Enter Eyealike's Visual Search Platform, marketed as the first enterprise-class search platform for facial recognition, image detection, and video copyright surveillance.

Heuss said Eyealike searches videos on an image-by-image, frame-by-frame basis, employing patent-pending technologies, including the company's facial-recognition system. Eyealike said it doesn't need to see the whole video either; it can, for example, spot a copyrighted clip inside an amateur video posted to YouTube.

"It's a fast, scalable solution," said Heuss.

At perhaps closer to the other end of the spectrum is TubeMogul, a provider of video distribution and analytics services.

The company's new service provides amateur and professional video producers a one-stop shop for automatically distributing video to leading user-generated video sites such as YouTube.

The basic distribution service is free and includes analytics on how many viewers are watching your video on what sites. The company charges for more advanced analytics.

For the video producer, TubeMogul saves the time of having to upload separately to multiple media sites and provides a dashboard of analytics on viewership, which could be used to pitch potential advertisers or sponsors.

TubeMogul is also pitching itself to media and advertising companies as an impartial source of information on which videos are doing well on the Web and where.

"We help advertisers discover and unlock the top site inventory across the Net," TubeMogul CEO Brett Wilson said. "No one else has this kind of cross-site video data."


Squidcast your videos

Another site, Squidcast is for users more concerned with just getting family and friends to see their videos. It's designed to simplify the transfer of photos and videos from your computer to the Web.

"We're not a social networking site," said Daniel Putterman, Squidcast's chairman, "we're more an extension of your e-mail." He added, "When you get into gigabyte-size files and all the new video formats, [traditional] e-mail can't keep up." Instead, consumers burn videos to DVDs to mail or post to sites with relatively low image quality. Squidcast said its free service supports high-definition videos and high-resolution images.

The company's Collaborative Relay Network is a form of cloud computing that temporarily uses small amounts of end-user storage and bandwidth to form a personal distribution network it said is highly secure with advanced cryptographic features.

To send a video, users simply type in the e-mail addresses of the recipients and drag the video file to the appropriate Squidcast page. Hit Send and Squidcast transfers the files.

On the recipient's end, the file appears much like an e-mail attachment that you can click to play or download.