We use video to capture the richest most interesting moments in our lives, moments that a still photograph or audio alone can’t capture completely. This fact underlies each of the several dozen iterative video sharing apps I have been pitched or have demoed in the last few weeks. The problem with most is that they fail to add anything new or interesting to the already crowded space.
Vyclone for iOS is another matter entirely. The social video collaboration app launching today is the first I’ve encountered that automatically synchronizes and edits together video footage from multiple users at the same event to create a multi-angle movie. The app is ideal for concerts, live sporting events, parties, or any other memorable action pact moment. As the company says, “From now on, the world’s your Hollywood.”
Whether the users are a few hundred strangers attending an epic concert or a few moms filming a youth soccer game, the end result of Vyclone is a richer, more interesting video than has ever before been available to everyday users. More importantly, it’s entirely effortless.
“This isn’t final cut pro,” admits co-founder and CEO David King Lassman. “We’re not trying to create a high end digital editing suite. We want people to connect in the moment to push out a movie that captures key moments of their lives.”
As soon as two or more users upload video captured within a few hundred feet of one another and overlapping in time, the app begins doing its magic in the background. In roughly 30 seconds each user will receive a finished mashup cutting between shots to show the scene from multiple angles.
After the automatic initial synchronization is completed users can edit from up to four different camera angles and can add a variety of simple filters including black & white and sepia. The app includes privacy controls to allow sharing only with friends or with the entire Vyclone community as well as to external social networks facebook and twitter. Users can also tag friends and events, leave comments, like videos, and follow other Vyclone users.
Interestingly, videos shared publicly can be accessed by Vyclone users anywhere around the world, either as individual feeds or as finished mashups. As a result, a user in New York could view content captured at a concert in London and remix it to make their own Vyclone mashup from the raw footage.
The app’s home screen is a discovery feed organized by crowd, featured, and popular, which in other words mean most recent, videos chosen by Vyclone staff, and videos receiving the most likes and comments. Users can also search and discover by geo-location.
There are a ton of use cases for this product and a natural segway into more branded experiences. Co-founder Joe Sumner, the son of Sting and a touring musician in his own right, says that the idea for Vyclone came to him at a concert around the time when smartphone video cameras started becoming ubiquitous. Although the app is currently free to users and is expected to remain so, the founders plan to target numerous event verticals with the first being music. According to Sumner, they are receiving unsolicited inbound inquiries from record labels looking for ways to get involved.
Vyclone’s co-founders are both Brits living in Los Angeles. Accordingly, the company’s team of 13 is split between a front end team in LA and a back end team in London. One advantage of this setup is that they have managed to be “coding around the clock” for months ahead of today’s release. The company built the entire technology from the ground up and has filed for multiple patents including those around its synchronization techniques.
The app has been live in a limited release in the UK for approximately one month. Over that time, the Vyclone team has collected extensive feedback and improved the user experience ahead of the worldwide launch today. Due to the early release overseas, and the ideal nature of the Olympics for this type of product, expect to see enormous volumes of Vyclone content coming out of London later this month.
Vyclone raised a $2.7 million seed round at the end of 2011 from a few household names. The first to see the vision and jump aboard were Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary and Ashton Kutcher, via their joint investment fund A-Grade Investments. As Lassman remembers the conversation, upon seeing the app Kutcher said, “This is going to change everything.” From these two uber-connected stars came strategic investments from LiveNation and Dreamworks.
As users go about their lives with more powerful and more connected video cameras in their pockets the use cases for Vyclone will increase exponentially. Beyond live entertainment, citizen journalism is at its earliest stages and could see dramatic impact from tools such as this. Vyclone is just simple enough and its output delightful enough that it should mark the beginning of a social co-creation movement.