Say hello to Big Brother, Web 2.0 edition.
Beginning this week, a small San Francisco company called Koozoo – tag line: "share your view" – has launched the beginnings of a user-generated, 24/7 streaming video network in the Bay Area and Austin, Texas. The network will be comprised wholly of snippets of video and longer live-streams submitted via an Android or iOS app. The goal, Koozoo says, is for folks to broadcast "views of places and events in [their] community and around the world."
You don't have to actually post videos to use Koozoo. By clicking around the map in the Koozoo app, you can choose to simply watch – click on the icon at the local park, for instance, and you might see a video of some folks playing soccer, which is being live-streamed by a passing pedestrian. Or navigate over to the icon outside the local coffee shop, and take a gander at the crowd. Yeah, sure, it's a little weird.
"There’s actually already a pretty great recent example of this kind of system working," she writes. "Earlier this month when a meteor streaked across the Russian sky, it was captured from many angles by drivers who had dashboard cameras installed in their cars in order to capture an unbiased view of accidents and encounters with highway patrol cops. Those videos were almost immediately posted online, and the rest of the world could viscerally experience and replay this crazy event that had just happened in Russia."
Late last year, Koozoo made headlines when it raised $2.5 million in a seed funding round led by New Enterprise Associates and Tugboat Ventures. It also raised the eyebrows of privacy-minded users. But questioned in December about security on the platform, Koozoo founder and CEO Drew Sechrist promised certain safeguards would be in place.
“Koozoo is for public places only, so private spaces or inappropriate content will be curated out of the system,” Sechrist told TechCrunch at the time. “And we have a curation system that handles that. That’s the quick and dirty answer to it, the longer answer is that there will be grey areas of what’s appropriate content and what’s not, and we are building an advisory board of some of the world’s leading experts at the intersection of privacy and computer science, and we’ll be looking to those guys to advise us on those grey areas.”
Well, it's a start anyway.
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