According to Werdmuller, the company has seen wide usage across broadcasters in the U.S. and Mexico. He mentions that one customer, Nexstar Broadcasting, which runs 55 TV stations in the U.S., is now seeing a 5x to 8x return on its investment. For many broadcasters on the service, the savings come from their ability to ditch the satellite truck, which one client said was $500 to hook up and $25 for every five-minute satellite window. And there’s the truck operator to think of, too. Those are some hefty costs Latakoo is helping to take down.
“We think this is a great moment for us and NBC News,” said Paul Adrian, CEO of latakoo. “The Internet offers tremendous possibilities for simplicity, speed, and cost savings to news crews traveling the world. And before latakoo was developed, TV networks had to build expensive proprietary tools of their own or buy very pricey hardware and software. We’ve shown NBC there is a better way.”
Over the next five months, latakoo’s engineers will optimize the company’s popular compression and conveyance technology to work with NBC’s proprietary workflow system. As long as news crews are able to find a wireless signal somewhere in the world, they will be able to use latakoo’s one-click tool to send their raw video and edited news reports into the broadcast center. Satellites and expensive broadband will no longer be necessary in many instances.
“We like the way latakoo works because it’s so easy to use,” says Danny Miller, the Director of Engineering Field and Satellite Operations for NBC News. “A correspondent could review video on a laptop and just drop the best of it into latakoo to quickly send back to the newsroom.”
Once it’s at the newsroom, the video can be tagged, commented on, downloaded in a variety of formats, shared securely, pushed to third-party services like Box, YouTube and Facebook, or pushed to internal asset management systems through bespoke integrations. You can attach searchable transcripts and other non-video files, and there’s also a RESTful API for other integrations.
Someone asked me for a one-line description of Latakoo today. So here’s what we do in simple terms:
Latakoo is an enterprise video transfer solution that lets you send high quality video securely from any Internet connection. It’s easy to use, and extremely fast, thanks to our built-in one-click compression. And it’s affordable: paid plans start at $7.95.
(Of course, if you gave me more room, I’d tell you about the integrations with third-party sites and enterprise asset management systems, the apps for Mac, Windows, iPhone and iPad, the ability to download your video in a variety of formats suitable for professional editing, and the public video blog platform. Maybe you should bend my ear sometime – or just try it out.)
A few weeks ago, my friends Mark and Sana got married in Oxford Town Hall. My sister Hannah and I were invited, but sadly couldn’t attend, on the grounds that we were over 5,000 miles and an ocean away. They’re both wonderful people, and I’ve known Sana in particular for a very long time, so this made me very sad indeed.
So, here’s what happened.
On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5am, brushed my hair and dressed up (from the waist up). Celia, who was able to attend the wedding in person, brought her MacBook Pro. And as friends and family gathered to watch the ceremony, she FaceTimed me.
In fact, it almost didn’t happen. Mark and Sana had checked with the venue beforehand, and it looked like they had wifi – but on the day, it wasn’t working. So Sven switched his HTC Desire into hotspot mode, and I attended the wedding via FaceTime over a 4G cellphone connection. Not a planned backup – he just happened to have a broadband connection in his pocket (as many of the guests probably did). Thank you Android; thank you Apple.
Let’s step back for a moment and think about what this might have required ten years ago. Two sets of ISDN lines, a webcam and specialist software? Some kind of satellite connection? Yet today, it was possible with commodity hardware. It didn’t even use much of Sven’s cellphone data allowance.
People talk about the Internet as being information at your fingertips, anywhere; I like to think of it as being a way to connect anyone to anyone in deeper and deeper ways. Here’s some footage from the wedding reception, a little later on, which I recorded using the screen capture software Screeny (that’s Mark playing drums):
Forget flying cars, or scaremongering tales of social networking making us more emotionally isolated: the future we’re living in is more human, more democratic and more personal than ever before. Sitting in Berkeley, getting choked up over a wedding 8 timezones away, I felt more grateful than ever before for all the ways that technology brings us together.