Crowdflik Brings Crowdsourced Video to Smartphones and Tablets
If you were at a concert and everyone there was recording video of the event, wouldn’t it be cool if you could have access to all that video, edit it together and combine the best clips? Maybe one person had a great shot of the guitarist during his solo, and another person had a great view of the crowd surfers, and another had a closeup of the singer? Well, that is about to be a reality with CrowdFlik.
Crowdflik is an app that enables users to create and share custom edits of crowd-sourced video. Users can check in at an event, and when they record video, it syncs with a master clock and goes to a cloud, where it can then be accessed in ten second bits to create an edit or “flik.”
The idea came from Chris Hamer, who used to work for Sony Music. When he was at the Jimmy Kimmel show eight months ago, he was watching The Dave Matthews Band and a lightbulb went off.
“It hit me when I saw effectively every person holding up their phones, not taking pictures, but video, and in my mind these green lines were drawn from each phone up to this bridge in the sky, and I thought, if we could get content into digestible chunks on a master clock, we could then interchange them.” Hamer said.
Here’s how it works: once users shoot video using the Crowdflik app, the video is first stored in the camera roll on their phone, and then uploaded to the cloud, where the clips are then tagged, stored and accessible in ten second segments. Users can then create a “flik” by tapping different ten-second segments and the app automatically weaves them together into a single video. The submitted video is hosted by Crowdflik and can be shared across the web.
The more complex part was syncing each clip with the same time, because no two phones read the exact same time down to the hundredth of a second. Crowdflik engineers created a process that takes advantage of the Stanford algorithm and the Naval Atomic Clock as a reference point.
“The app develops a delta in time between the app and master clock and the device clock- because all devices aren’t exactly spot on, we need to set a reference time so that each set of videos captured– video that’s being uploaded– is exactly synchronized time to the one ten thousandth of second,”Hamer said. “So when the video is uploaded, tagged with time and location, then the app cuts the video into synchronized ten second pieces.”
Crowdflik uses ten second segments to keep it simple, and unlike Vine, which Hamer said is more like a six-second postcard, Crowdflik allows users to create and share as many edits as they want from crowdsource video.
“You just tap and that’s how you create your flik,” Hamer said. “You can tap 3 across and make a 30 second clip or tap 30 across and make a 300 second clip and then you save, share and post and email and then you come back and create as many different flicks as you want.”
Hamer has big plans for the app. He wants to create partnerships with major brands that hold events so Crowdflik can be used to capture video and extend the life of the event after it’s over. He’s also talking to phone manufacturers to try to integrate Crowdflik into the functionality on the deck of the phones.
Crowdflik will be available for the iPhone by late May or early June. Shortly thereafter, the app will be available on iPad, iPad mini, and Android 4.0 and above.