Thoughts Sans Boundaries

A great new discovery today

Posted in technology by Aditya Moorthy on December 22, 2007

I had completely stopped blogging for a long while but something I found made me to come back and write about it. The new discovery I am talking about is called Qik. It is a new Internet cum mobile tool that lets you stream live video feed to the Internet and let you save it in your profile to view later. Robert Scoble had talked about it a few days back but I didn’t bother to check it until today. This new stuff is mind boggling. The technology might not seem like a path breaking new invention but the creators of Qik have cleverly put together some available technology and built something that has the potential to become the next big think in the Internet world.

Once I saw what Robert was doing live with his mobile phone, I knew I had to register for it and I did. It is currently supported on a number of mobile phones. All you need to do is provide your mobile phone number and Qik will send you an invitation that will let you download and install a small application in your phone and bingo, you are now ready to stream live with your Internet connection on your phone, be it GPRS, 3G or Wifi. I put up some video of mine today and this thing has got me excited all day. I simply love this service and glad to be one of the firsts to be using it.

Some of my initial thoughts:

Positives:

1. The whole sign up process is extremely simple. No huge web forms that asks all your history to sign up. All you need is a mobile phone number and you are ready to rock.
2. Currently supported on a number of popular phone models, one of which happens to be mine, Nokia E65
3. The web site is very simple to use and no cluttering with too many features which you might never or seldom use
4. The video practically live with few seconds delay which is fantastic
5. All the videos gets saved in your profile which acts like your personal youtube account will all the videos you uploaded
6. Another great feature is when the video is being watched live by someone, they could type a message on top of the streaming video and the message pops up on your phone. This stuff is really freaky and cool.
7. Great support and very passionate people behind the product development. Had a first hand experience with a support request.

Areas of improvement:

1. There is no guide for non-tech users to install the application in the mobile phone. If the phone is set up to install applications then this happens seamlessly but if you had blocked something in the phone then you need to first unlock it before you can install it. This happened to me since I never install applications in my phone, I completely forgot about resetting it to install the application. Fortunately, Bhaskar Roy, VP, Product Management was still checking emails and he saw my support request and immediately replied with the details to install it. Kudos to good support.
2. It would be great if I could see how many people are watching my video while I am streaming. I am sure that they are already working on something like this as this would be THE request from heavy users.
3. A good feedback form so people can leave their comments and suggestions
4. I think the FAQ should be expanded to include how to comment, which is not very intuitive
5. The live feed appears only on the home page (at least as far as I know) so if someone starts to stream after I begin and if the browser is refreshed then the latter video takes the place and mine goes to the film strip in the bottom of the page
6. It would be great if I could download my videos to my computer for offline viewing. Currently the only way to watch it is when I go to my profile. I am sure, I should be allowed to download my videos and keep a copy on my computer.
7. I would like to stream from my computer as well and wouldn’t want to use only my mobile phone
8. I am not sure how it would work when someone owns two phones. Will two profiles be created? I guess that’s the way it works now and there should be a way to link more than one phone to a single profile and vice versa if it makes sense to some users
9. It would be great if the the tagging process happens on the My Profile page itself instead of clicking on each video and enter the tags.

That’s all I can think of for now. I am sure that my 3G bills are going to sky rocket this month and I will have more to say as I keep using the service.

Great job guys, keep up the good work going.

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