What if you could pick any spot in the world and see what’s happening right now? Koozoo, a startup company based in San Francisco, has figured out a way to make that possible. All you need is a smartphone and you can start sharing live views of public places. As more people share their live streams, you will be able to see what is happening around town or around the globe. The idea of sharing live video feeds is not new, as you already know. However, Koozoo takes a different approach by focusing on what’s currently taking place somewhere specific, like your yard, your favorite restaurant or on the beach. The service is easy to use and accessible to anyone with a smartphone.
To get people to use the service, the company is willing to mail you a suction cup mount to give your device the best possible view. The company recommends making better use of your old iPhone by turning it into a streaming device via Koozoo. Alternative services, like the use of webcams requires software, a computer and home security set ups, all of which can cost you close to a grand. With Koozoo, it’s all free, and what’s more, the service can be set up and ready to stream in about a minute. The Android version is expected soon.
You may be wondering; ‘How can I leave my smartphone, regardless of how old it is,to broadcast all day and night?” Koozoo however has an answer to that. The app will only be taking snapshots every few minutes to use as thumbnails. Live broadcasts only take place when a viewer who is running the app tunes in. Depending on your internet connection, video streams are between 200kbps and 800kbps, with the possibility of maxing out at 720p high fidelity video.
What about those who only own one smartphone and don’t want to stream from it? Koozoo gives them the ability to record and post short video snippets that are viewable on a map. If you are not up for the task, you can simply sit back and enjoy what others are posting by browsing the app’s library of live feeds that can be seen on a map and organized by category.
Similar services like Instagram and Vine, have been getting a lot of public attention and as can be expected, the ability to stream makes it ripe for abuse. Koozoo intends to reduce such abuses by approving each feed individually before it goes live through its servers and team members. In addition, algorithms that decide what is bad content and what’s not will be employed.
Koozoo limits the use of its streaming service to public spaces only. How though will the team know when an approved stream is changed to start streaming from a different location? Defenses in place detect when the phone is moved. While a bump or a slight move will not result in a flag, turning around a camera from, say a street view to a bedroom view, will take the feed offline until another review is done.
With a $2.5 million round of funding already in place, we can expect to see Koozoo bring in more features and innovate with its new app. I can’t wait to download and try it out.