8 Apr 2015

Up Periscope? Get ready for a new data overload

It took several days for footage which appears to show a US police officer shooting a man in the back┬áto be posted online. In future, we’ll wonder why it wasn’t available instantly.

Live-streaming video is building up a head of steam, helped along by the launch of Periscope, a Twitter app which allows users to share and comment on live video. It joins the likes of  Meerkat and Bambuser (which has been around for eight years).

It’s interesting the gusto with which media outlets have embraced Periscope, especially when contrasted with the reaction to Google Glass.

Even though Google’s video-enabled specs never had the ability to stream footage live (with the exception of Chief Exec Eric Schmidt’s pair), they were widely seen as a worrying step into a future of peer-to-peer surveillance.

Somehow, the media seems to have a more laid-back reaction to live video technology when it is offered through phones. If that translates into public support, we can expect to see a swelling cacophony of footage online, creating millions of live streams, which are then archived.

In response, here’s two thoughts: how the hell will we search all this stuff?

Text is easy for computers to index and catalogue, video is an order of magnitude harder. Location data will be the main search device in the short term, but expect to see a boom in video indexing services (and facial recognition tech in tandem).

Secondly, here’s a word of warning about this bright new future. Fifty words, in fact, which describe what Periscope can do with the footage you give it:

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Periscope, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

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