After the video streaming revolution was turned into a global phenomenon by the likes of YouTube a few years back, the concept of sharing videos online has become widely accepted by the general public. It has been able to create movements, shape culture and has given rise to a range of online celebrities who get millions of regular viewers. Now Bambuser is here to take this basic video sharing concept and bring it to the next level, representing a new generation of online video streaming which introduces an all-important element: live broadcasts.
If you have a webcam you may already have been using it to hold live video chats with friends and family for some time. However, unless you have extensive knowledge it is difficult to broadcast webcam sessions to multiple parties or a wider, anonymous audience online. This is where Bambuser comes in. Users are encouraged to share their experiences in real time, streaming live video from their webcam to an expectant internet audience. Bambuser says that the latency levels are very low, so wherever your viewers are in the world they should experience a minimal delay as the video information travels from your computer to their machines.
Bambuser is not just aimed at people with webcams, as this would make it a somewhat static service, requiring a landline broadband connection, a PC and a webcam. Those who want to completely remove these limitations will be pleased to hear that Bambuser is also going to be available for a number of different smartphones. At the moment it is compatible with a variety of platforms and manufacturers and there is even an iPhone app, which we will discuss a little later. With Bambuser installed on your mobile, you will be able to fire it up and kick start a live video stream using your phone’s integrated camera from wherever you are and as long as you have decent 3G reception you should be able to stay live.
Bambuser can be integrated into a number of popular social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and Myspace. You will be able to post links to your live video streams on your multiple social networking accounts in order to get your friends involved and if you have a personal blog you can also embed your live stream for visitors to enjoy. Once you have linked in your Facebook or Twitter account, Bambuser can automatically update your profiles when broadcasting begins so you do not have to.
The Bambuser iPhone application is one of the most comprehensive mobile versions of the streaming service. It is free to download and use directly from the App Store and it has a number of customisable settings which can make your streams look great, allowing you to add unique information. For example, it is possible to use the iPhone’s GPS receiver in tandem with the Bambuser app, which lets you geotag your streams. This means that anyone watching will be able to see exactly where it is that you are broadcasting from.
You can also set the live stream to be viewable by a public audience, or quickly switch it to private if you want to stream on an individual basis. If you are worried about eating into your monthly data allowance you can turn down the video and audio quality, but if you have your iPhone connected via a Wi-Fi hotspot then you can ramp the quality back up. As your broadcast goes out, viewers can contribute with messages, which will pop up on your iPhone, making the whole experience a very social one.
There are a huge number of applications for which Bambuser could be used. If, for example, you are out and about and you see a scene that really needs to be shared with friends or the public, you can fire up the Bambuser app on your mobile and let everyone in on the event in real time, rather than having to capture the video, upload it and share it later. You could also use a webcam to create your own live show.
At the moment Bambuser is still in the process of growing and developing, the potential offered by Bambuser is obvious and it could well be the next big online phenomenon. Sites such as Chatroulette have already shown that there is an appetite for video streaming, but Bambuser takes this to a wider market with greater regulation and a focus on content quality rather than brief sideshow appeal.
Pictured right: Bambuser iphone app screenshot
For more information please visit www.bambuser.com or download their free app from the app store.