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AppRising delivers insight into new broadband applications, exploring their impact on networks and their implications for public policy.

AppRising is written by Geoff Daily, who covers broadband applications and the business of online video. Based in Washington, DC, Geoff regularly advises applications developers, network operators, community leaders, and public officials on how to maximize adoption and use of the Internet.

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May 11, 2007 9:58 AM

Video Interviews from the Expo - Part 1

One very positive aspect of the Expo I have not yet mentioned was the involvement of the guys from TechnologyEvangelist.com, a very savvy blog with the tagline, “Better Living Through Technology.”

They came out to Fort Wayne to capture the action equipped with an impressive array of HD video production equipment. We set them up in the exhibit hall and they proceeded to capture interviews with a variety of exhibitors and speakers.

They’ve begun posting the edited video from those interviews, and I wanted to share them with you all. So without further adieu, here’s an interview with Cameron Clarke, CEO of Vodium, a DC-based online communications company:

Two things in particular jumped out at me while watching this interview:

1. Cameron is spot on in his vision for the need to make online video, especially longer videos, more searchable and in doing so more usable and relevant. The great thing about search engines like Google is that they don’t just search based on the title but instead can drill down through all the words in a document or a webpage.

Video, generally, doesn’t have that luxury. Most video search is based on metadata, which are keywords inputted by whoever posts the video that aim to describe its contents. The only problem is what if the person trying to find this video doesn’t think up the same keywords as the person who uploaded it? And even if you’re able to find the video, what happens if it’s an hour long but you only need to watch a particular two minutes to get the information you need?

Vodium has developed a compelling solution for overcoming these challenges by synching old-fashioned human transcription directly to the video and making that text searchable. What this can enable, then, is when you do a Google search and a Vodium-enabled presentation comes up in the results, when you click on that link you’re able to jump right into a video at the exact moment the words you were searching for were spoken.

2. The other tidbit I couldn’t ignore was Cameron’s comment about how with their new platform they’re now able to deliver a rich media presentation over as little as 220Kbps of bandwidth.

Doing more with less has been a necessary evil for applications developers in order to reach the widest range of “broadband” customers. The fact that they’ve been able to drive bandwidth demands of rich media content down almost to the 200Kbps level that the FCC has defined as “broadband” is remarkable.

Yet it also saddens me to some degree. I can’t help thinking: what would their application be like if some of the energy they devoted into doing more with less was instead applied to seeing what’s possible when you can do more with more.

As network operators continue to roll out advanced next-gen networks, we’re rapidly leaving the era of bandwidth scarcity and in some areas leapfrogging directly into a world of abundant bandwidth.

The thing I’m dying to see during this transition is the day when applications developers like Cameron aren’t just talking about how little their bandwidth requirements are but instead how much their applications demand from the networks they’re delivered over.

I want someone to say, “You can’t run my application unless you have at least 10Mbps to the home.”


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