Yesterday, GoPro and Periscope announced a new integration that allows GoPro owners to connect their cameras to the Periscope app. On the surface, this might seem a bit frivolous; it is anything but.
At NAB 2015, GoPro, in partnership with Vislink, announced the HEROCast. At $7,500, the HEROCast turns the GoPro into a compact, wireless remote head for integration into broadcast TV signal flows and high-end live streams. Think of a POV cam inside a car at the Indy 500 and you’ll get the idea.
This new integration basically gives the smartphone user the same toolset, for free.
Granted, the quality and strength of signal are nowhere near what the HEROCast delivers. Broadcasters need bulletproof reliability and that is what they are paying for with the HEROCast.
You and I do not require that level of reliability.
While shooting in Alaska last spring, I gave Periscope a try for the first time and was amazed at the number of complete strangers who jumped on my feed to watch the sunset over Kachemak Bay. As I recall, one stream had 500 viewers. That does not seem like a big number unless you consider the following. My stream was completely unannounced and I only had around 20 periscope followers.
Moreover, the users were very engaged; showing hearts (Periscope’s “likes”) and asking questions. And, that was the problem. For me to follow that interaction and respond to it, I had to look at my phone, which was attached to the streaming camera. As a result, the great view folks were tuned in for went away each time I had to shift my angle of view to shield the sun and read my screen.
If only I could have separated my camera and my phone, the experience would have been better for presenter and audience alike.
Now, I can.
And, unlike the HEROCast, this integration adds no weight to the GoPro. So, in a word, dronecast. Yeah, let that sink in.
I recall walking off that Alaskan beach thinking “Man, Periscope has potential, but it has too many limitations to be of much real use.” With this integration that changed … in a big way.