Thursday, January 04, 2007

"Live" from Anywhere at Anytime ... It's Cellphone Video!

As regular readers of my blog know, I am a strong believer in mobile video and believe that ultimately mobile video will be a multi-billion dollar global juggernaut. Mobile video presents powerful and compelling unique use cases, about which I have blogged on several occasions. Recent events -- including the use and global broadcast of Saddam Hussein's hanging via cellphone video -- reflect the "power" of this ability to capture video from anywhere and at any moment in time (given that the cell phone is with users 24/7).

Both yesterday's and today's Wall Street Journal reflect the potential power of mobile video in separate feature stories, both of which are worthy of a read. Today's Wall Street Journal, on page B3, features a story by Li Yuan titled "Cellphone Video Gets On the Beam." This story discusses Samsung's new "Advanced-Vestigial Side-Band" system that provides a novel approach to video for mobile devices -- i.e., "equip cellphones to pick up digital signals from local TV broadcasters." This would require no use of bandwidth on the wireless network.

And, in an extremely interesting article by Jessica Vascellaro, in yesterday's (January 3rd) edition of the Wall Street Journal on page D4 titled "News Picture Changes with Cellphone Video," the Journal makes the following points, among others:

(1) cellphone camcorders "have become ubiquitous", despite having launched only four years ago;

(2) 2/3 of cellphones sold in November 2006 had embedded cameras (up from 49% a year before), and the majority of these could take video as well as still pictures;

(3) the quality of these cameras (and their resulting images) is improving greatly, to the point that professional newspeople are now relying upon cellphone video in their own work (and broadcasting cellphone video); several phones today can capture full motion 30 frame per second video (including the Nokia N93).

The Wall Street Journal concludes that "with video quality improving and uploading becoming easier, the use of cellphone video is expected to become even more widespread" for news gathering (think of citizen journalists, among others) and for mundane everyday uses.

And, in this regard, think of how "live" video via mobile phone brings unique power to the equation. It's just a matter of time before live mobile video also becomes ubiquitous. Ease of use and high picture quality/frame rate is essential in this regard ....