A few years back at the Consumer Electronics Show, I attended a panel lecture by camera manufacturers declaiming how camera phones were fine in a pinch, but that no serious photographer would ever rely on them for serious picture taking. The irony was that probably 8 out of 10 journalists in attendance at this discussion were taking pictures of the panelists with their cell phones. (So much for expert opinion).
And now that critical mass has shown people are going to use camera phones no matter what the Mr. Know-It-Alls say, that next news broadcast exclusive you see might just get beamed to you over, you guessed it, a mobile phone.
At a recent National Association of Broadcasters meeting in Las Vegas (hey, that’s where the fated CES panel was held, too), LiveCast, a company that is pioneering the use of live video from mobile devices, announced availability of a new product called Lightning. The company asserts that this technology will allow field news reporters to conduct a live broadcast with real-time video from cell phones and other mobile devices. Resolution these days is such, says the company, that news media will not experience a drop in video quality over Lightning, and thus will be ever ready to do on-the-spot reporting. Early customers of LiveCast include NBC Universal, Dallas Morning News, and Intel Corp., which are already, according to LiveCast, sending signals from the field to television studios as well as to Web sites.
I wonder how long before a panel of TV-camera experts will convene to claim that “real” broadcasters would never resort to the use of cell phones for a video feed. What do you want to bet that when they do, half the audience will be executing their video feeds from their cell phones?
For more information, go to http://www.livecast.com.