GoPro, Twitter behind novel live-broadcast app

Thursday, Jan 28, 2016

GoPro is teaming up with Twitter-owned Periscope to allow users to broadcast live from their GoPro devices connected to iPhones.

Persicope, like Meerkat, is an app that allows smartphone users to create live broadcasts. All you have to do is download the app, set up an account and point your smartphone in the direction you want to cover. Press an onscreen button and you're on the air, broadcasting live to whoever wants to watch.

And believe it or not, millions of people do watch. I'm not a big Periscope user, but I have tried it out and can almost always muster up at least a few dozen viewers, even for "shows" as mundane as walking along a beach. One reason is that Periscope videos can be discovered by your Twitter followers.

What's interesting about this new feature is the ability to instantly switch between the GoPro and the iPhone's built-in video camera. It means that consumers can do two-camera live action shots.

"Much like a production switchboard, you can use your Periscope interface to flip between the two different camera angles," said a GoPro blog post, "so even if your broadcast is lacking that heart-pounding action only GoPro can capture, you can still set up a two-camera shot for more dynamic story telling in real time."

What I find interesting about this announcement is that it opens up a market for GoPro beyond its traditional sports-action users. Let's face it. Not everyone needs a camera to record live action sports. I have no real need for a GoPro because, frankly, my sports life isn't all that interesting.

But, the ability to do a two-camera live broadcast is appealing because it gives average consumers with a few hundred dollars worth of equipment the ability to create some pretty compelling video, regardless of what they're capturing. Sure, it can be used for sports-action shots but it could also be great for travel videos, for birthday parties or for business uses.

GoPro said that it requires a GoPro HERO4 Black or Silver camera and that video will also be captured on the camera's micro SD card, as well as being broadcast live over Periscope. It currently requires an iPhone 5s or higher to connect Periscope to a GoPro, but videos can be viewed from any platform.

Other News