A group of young entrepreneurs is preparing to launch a new app that allows users to share videos using their smartphones.
Crewcam Inc., a startup based in the Kanata North Research Park, will release the video app this week for Apple iPhone users.
The sharing of video over the internet is nothing new, said Ryan Brink, Crewcam’s chief technical officer. Video apps like Viddy and Socialcam – not to mention social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook – allow users to broadcast content across the worldwide web in an instant.
But video is significantly more personal than photographs or other types of content, said Brink, and users are hesitant to make it instantly available for the world.
YouTube may list hundreds of millions of users, but less than two per cent of those actually post content onto the site, said Brink.
The Crewcam app allows users to share their videos with a small, select group, such as friends, family or co-workers.
“Crewcam makes it easy to share it with the specific people you want to see the video,” said Brink.
The company tested a version of the app with several hundred users and plans to release Crewcam 1.2 on the Apple app store either this week or next.
“Right now it’s just iPhones,” said Brink. “We’ll be building an Android version and a web version over the next few months.”
The basic crewcam app is available free of charge, said Brink.
A version with additional features will also be available for purchase, he added, with applications such as one that allows groups to collaborate on projects.
Professors at Carleton University, where Brink is finishing a degree in information technology, said the app could be an effective way for them to communicate with their students.
Teachers could record a school assignment and offer a step-by-step solution to the problem on video and send it to their students’ smartphones.
“It’s easier and faster than email,” said Brink.
The Crewcam app could also be used by parents to keep tabs on their children, he said, with children checking in when they arrive home via video.
“The parents also get to see their kid and they get to see they are home,” Brink said.
This mobile phone feature might make parents feel more comfortable about allowing their children a night out at the movies or at a restaurant.
“You could almost see it become a replacement for text messaging,” he said.
Meanwhile, the app shouldn’t force users to pay extra for their smartphone data-usage plan.
Smartphone users can upload 100 videos a month – 45 seconds of video amounts to about five megabytes in data, said Brink – and still remain under a standard one-gigabyte smartphone data usage plan, he said.
Crewcam was founded last April by a team of three friends: Brink, Gregory Flatt and Desmond McNamee, who all studied at Carleton University and worked for Live QoS, a network intelligence company based in Kanata.
Brink and McNamee are still finishing their degree in the information technology program while Flatt graduated last year with a degree in software engineering.
The fourth member of the team is Danielle Tran, a graphic artist.
The company raised its startup money from a group of angel investors connected with Live QoS.
Leo Lax, a former assistant vice-president at Mitel and also Newbridge Networks, agreed to serve as CEO of the newly-formed company. Lax is currently the CEO of Skypoint, a high-tech company he co-founded in 1998.
Crewcam is currently looking to hire a senior software developer as well as someone to help the company out on the marketing front, said Brink.