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Posts tagged ‘Video’

Startups We Love: Video Rascal

Video Rascal enables non-technical users to create professional videos for their website for less than $100, not thousands that a typical agency charges. The system is simple. The user chooses a template, uploads a script, then selects audio options and the HD-quality video is now ready for use on a website and social channels.

Lucky Orange: Real Time Visitor Tracking

Lucky Orange provides real time analytics for exactly how your visitors are using your website. The service doesn’t replace your existing web tracking analytics. Instead, Lucky Orange offers better insight into how your users use your website.

Once you embed the Javascript code, press CTRL + SHIFT + 1 on your keyboard to launch the tool and begin the setup process. Your dashboard gives a live count of the number of people browsing your pages. The global map pinpoints their location, while lists show popular pages, entry keywords and referral sources.

Lucky Orange is broken into tabs. The Visitors tab gives the basic details like how the user found your site and their current page. But you also have the surprising “Spy On” option, which records how your users move about your site. These sessions can be saved and archived for later viewings. The Recordings tab houses the videos. Use them to assess your site’s usability.

We saw real business value through their third feature; one-to-one chat support. For any visitor, you have the option to spring open a chat window and speak to them live. Sales teams will jump at this capability, giving them the instant opportunity to qualify leads the moment people express interest.

We were amazed to see Lucky Orange’s price point. They have one plan, and it’s offered at $7 per month. For that cost, any small business owner can afford the service. If the low price isn’t enough to get you to sign-up, then both the live demo and free trial can change your mind.

iSwifter: The iPad Flash App That Could

Apple’s and Adobe’s relationship represents a strained friendship between best friends whose values have changed. It wasn’t long ago when former Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen was a staple in Jobs’ keynote presentations. But Apple’s strongly worded open letter regarding the role of Flash and the technology’s flaws publicized their rivalry.

The iPhone has never carried Adobe Flash out of the box. In fact, Apple has begun releasing new models from their computer product line without Flash at all. It seems the only hope for iPhone users looking to use Flash apps is to jailbreak their phones. Now iSwifter provides another option, and it has already been approved in the iTunes App Store.

Instead of compiling Flash apps to work on iOS (as many have tried), iSwifter uses servers set up as a cloud to run abstraction software. Therefore, when you’re playing a Flash app on your iPad, you’re iPad is serving as more of a terminal by transmitting input and receiving feedback.

It’s not a plugin, so you still won’t be able to view Flash content in Safari. It’s not a web browser either. It’s a gaming portal that houses Flash games. The app is free to use for the first 2,000 games played.

iSwifter is far from perfect. People demoing the iPad app realize it’s slow and laggy; two things you’d expect from an app that’s abstracting in real time, and also the two things that may be enough to render the app unusable. Like many of the apps featured on Mini Sprout, don’t consider it a final draft. Beta releases aren’t for the faint at heart.

iSwifter represents a fairly significant step for Apple to begin opening their walled garden. In the last few months, app approvals have become noticeably less strict as Apple faced heightened scrutiny from developers who were threatening to abandon the platform for Android. The app represents an opportunity for developers to get their creations on another very large platform with minimal obstacles. What’s still left to be seen is whether iSwifter is a step in the right direction.

Jottle: Chatroulette With a Filter

Let’s be honest. Chatroulette started a revolution when it launched. In some part, it was sparked by the idea of connecting people anonymously by webcam. But, we mostly know of Chatroulette because there is a 90% chance you will see something besides someone’s face. It’s difficult to name another popular service whose rules include only the words, “16+, stay fully clothed”. Oh, technology.

Jottle is a free service identical to Chatroulette, except it can actually prevent people from seeing anything but another person’s face. The site even goes so far as to say, “Chat face-to-face without the junk”. Clever pun.

Here’s how it works. As soon as you launch Jottle, their highly advanced software will begin checking to make sure someone’s face is present on the screen. Once it detects your face (and only your face) is present on screen, it will connect you with another user. If it detects anything else, your connection will be terminated.

Are you following this concept? Face recognition software. Worldwide video feeds. Terabytes of data transfers. You would imagine this technology would be used in a covert reconnaissance operation. Instead, it’s being used to keep the kids from seeing things they shouldn’t.

Both users have the option to click a Trust button, which will turn off the filter when mutually enabled. Realistically, the service is Chatroulette with red tape at the beginning.

We have a bit of difficultly seeing how Chatroulette fits into the web’s memes. There isn’t much of a business model, after all. But if Chatroulette can find a target across the web, then Jottle is certainly welcome as a safer, more savvy, alternative.