Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Roving Reporter In A Box

Every once in a while I stumble upon another really cool technology that is fun and free and quite clever. Whether it has any practical use for me is not important. I will try to find some way to put it to use, even if only to gain a full understanding of it.

My latest discovery is Bambuser, a highly optimized video channel permitting you to broadcast in real time from your smart phone. Acquiring Bambuser from the Android market and loading it to my HTC EVO (smart phone) enabled me to immediately begin steaming live video and audio to my personal channel on their web site. I merely had to create an account and press the record button. t was literally that simple.

My first attempt labeled Training Film was broadcast and recorded while I was in a Google Hangout with a friend from the UK, Mike Downes. Mike turned me on to Bambuser and can be seen in this video coaching me and verifying that it is working. Mike has done a number of recordings and has tried to get various news agencies such as the BBC to adopt it.

The potential is enormous. As with Google Hangouts, you can capture and stream pictures and sound from you phone virtually anywhere you have signal. There is no need for a camera crew, heavy equipment or the van full of satellite uplink equipment. It can work using WiFi or regular cellular service. My first attempt was done using only the 3G cell service available to me at home.

However, with Bambuser, the performance is better and the number of viewers is unlimited. Coupled with a Hangout, you might play the part of a roving reporter beaming back a story in real time to your colleagues in the studio who will relay it to television viewers through conventional broadcast. But you don't need a Hangout or a studio. You can begin a broadcast at any time. Use Twitter, for example, to alert followers who can tune in and watch your report in real time. A player can be added to your own web page, as I have now done here, providing your regular visitors with access to your entire library of video stories.

This tool can also be used for educational purposes. Lectures can be sent live or recorded for replay to a class from any location. Imagine lecturing students on architecture while visiting parts of New York City, London or Rome. Deliver a course on botany from the Botanical Gardens. Discuss criminal justice from inside the court room. Students, too, could benefit by delivering projects to the class and instructor from remote locations.

Bambuser has become one more arrow in my quiver along with the Flip camera, YouTube, Skype, Hangouts, Livestream and several other video enabling technologies. Since I always have my phone with me, I am confident an opportunity to use it will come along soon enough so watch this space.

Captain Joe

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