Hang w/ Developer Plans Unlimited Broadcast for Google Glass
Live streaming social app Hang w/ could soon get an unlimited broadcast option for Google Glass. That would be a “revolutionary technology," says Dave Swartz, co-owner, president, and chief creative officer of MEDL Mobile, the app's developer.
Currently Hang w/ users, which the developer calls "broadcasters," can stream clips from their iOS devices live to the Hang w/ site and share to Facebook, in lengths of three, six, or nine minutes.
“Nobody has ever built a live streaming platform with the aim of making it a social media platform,” says Swartz. “We are trying to create an ecosystem with a balance between people who want to share their lives and people who want to watch. And so the various lengths of broadcasts are giving some framework for how to use it."
Swartz adds: “Initially, we launched with only three minutes, because our sense was that a short 'snackable' broadcast would be best. But the number one request from new users was for longer broadcasts. and so we added six and nine. We have plans to add longer segments as well.
“We may also release an unlimited broadcast option for Google Glass, which we see as a revolutionary technology application.”
Glass test users can already live stream video to the web, but Swartz says streaming live from Google Glass into Hang w/ “is a very different thing.”
“The difference is that streaming into Hang w/ is a social media experience and not just a live streaming experience,” he explains. “There are communities forming on Hang w/ that include people from all over the world who enjoy 'being with' each other.
“It's not just about the streaming. It's also about the being with other people. We are not too far from being able to be in one place, but look through your glasses into other places -- right now -- all around the world.”
A Hang w/ broadcaster's archived videos can be viewed on his or her profile page, and -- via an online viewer -- broadcasts can be shared to Facebook. Once shared, those broadcasts can be re-shared virally, even while happening live.
However, says Swartz, the broadcaster is in control. “When a broadcast is over, the broadcaster also has the ability to hide the broadcast from ever being seen again. If a broadcast has already been shared to Facebook, the link is removed and replaced with a message that the broadcaster has chosen to make this video private.”
An upgraded app for Android, capable of six and nine minute options, is being readied.
“The challenges of balancing a system that relies on both the upload and simultaneous download of streaming video get a little more complex when you add in the fact that it needs to be optimized across the fractionalized Android landscape,” Swartz explains. “When we feel that the update is optimized across the top devices in the market, we'll release the update.”
Since launch last March, the ad-supported app has been downloaded one million times, and has attracted athletes and celebrities to help promote, use, and invest in it, including Larry the Cable Guy, 50 Cent, Timbaland, and Terrell Owens.
NFL wide receiver Owens, who has a stake in MEDL, has clocked 10,000 followers to his Hang w/ broadcasts.
“Six to nine minutes is an ideal time to broadcast because you think three minutes is along time but it goes pretty fast and by the time you've got yourself set up the time was up,” Owens said.
Although not a Google Glass owner, Owens described the porting of Hang w/ to Glass as “groundbreaking.”
According to the latest Adobe Digital Index report, Google Glass will mainly be used to access online entertainment, with sports being the key driver.
Having a Google Glass on hand means having a convenient video camera ready to record and upload at a moment's notice.
The high-flying demo included a new tablet, a home audio and video player, and details on the new Android operating system release.