Recording and streaming of video on desktops is commonplace nowadays, but doing the same from smartphones can sometimes seem like a pipedream. Or is it?
That is what home-grown social network, Kondoot, is trying to prove as it focuses on connecting people via live video
While consumers and industry pundits are looking towards 4G as bringing about a digital converge where video is the new voice, Kondoot co-founder and executive director, Mark Cracknell, feels that 3G is already able to do that to some extent.
The desktop version of Kondoot contains an auto-quality scaling function that adjusts the quality of the video depending on the speed of the connection, so those waiting for the NBN to roll out can still upload and stream video over existing ADSL connections.
The upcoming release of the Kondoot smartphone app is expected to feature a variation of this auto-quality scaling algorithm to enable the function on smartphones with varying qualities of network connections.
“The quality of network connections really depend on location,” Cracknell said.
“In my hometown of Bundaberg, where the signal isn’t that great, it is obviously a bit harder to get a good 3G connection.”
Auto-quality scaling is expected to kick in automatically in those kind of situations, where users do not have the ideal bandwidth.
“In metropolitan Brisbane, for example there are no network problems with the major carriers, so that really hasn’t been an issue in that sense,” Cracknell said.
With the NBN and 4G gradually trickling out in Australia, bandwidth will hopefully become an issue of the past, but for the time being, Cracknell admits current technology is improving and there are still parts in the country where it is difficult to get access to high speed networks.
“Kondoot does scale where it can, so it will lower the quality when I encounters difficulties, and the reverse is true,” he said.
“If you are on a good Wi-Fi connection, it will increase the video quality.”
Beyond the connection issue, another area of live streaming that Kondoot has kept a close eye on is the appropriateness of content.
If video services such as Chat Roulette have taught users anything is that a webcam broadcasting to an anonymous audience tends to quickly deteriorate into inappropriate sexual content.
While blogs are able to easily block inappropriate text or comments, Cracknell admits that scouring visuals is “much harder.”
To that end, Kondoot is employing a similar solution that other big players such as Youtube use.
“If you go to Youtube and you find inappropriate content such as porn, the site relies on users to report it so it gets pulled down,” he said.
“We use the same system on Kondoot, as it is simply impossible to sit and monitor every single live stream or recording yourself, nor is it viable.”
With a reporting system built in, a user sees any content on Kondoot that is inappropriate, it can be flagged.
“So we tried to learn from the big players in that sense,” Cracknell said.
The site features the ability to interrupt any inappropriate broadcasts mid-stream.
“That’s something we have built-in from the start, because we’re not interested in that content and it’s not an R18+ site,” Cracknell said.
He adds that if a user is doing a private video call with their partner and it the content becomes inappropriate for some reason, they will likely not report them to Kondoot for inappropriate content.
However, all of public content can be reported and flagged.
While Youtube does host more adult-orientated content by placing an over 18 content warning, Cracknell admits that Kondoot presently does not have that function and just deletes the content.
“I’m not saying we won’t do it if a whole bunch of users request it and they really want to see that type of feature on Kondoot,” he said.
“But we no plans to implement it right now.”
The social networking site recently engaged with KPMG Corporate Finance as part of a prospectus capital raising move.