The idea of Camerize is rooted back in 2007. The co-founders of the Dutch company, Martinus Meiborg and Frank Alsema tried to build a prove of concept already in 2010, however it proved to be a little bit early for the technology so they started again in March 2014. That happened in collaboration with Stone Soup and since then it is all going well.
The day of the Star Wars episode “The force awakens” is released is the day we tested our system in partnership with Wikia.
But how did we get there? Let’s get to know more about Camerize from the co-founder, Martinus.
Q. We already know live-streaming, what is new in Camerize?
M. We can compare it to wip streaming. The added value is that you have multiple cameras streaming to you and you can select the best view. If you compared it to “Meerkat”, there you have individuals streaming at a single location. They all stream for themselves and somebody following a specific camera may not have the best view but there might be other cameras covering the event that may have a better view. However, if you join all these forces into a single room, as Camerize does, then you know everybody is working together. You can change angles and get a much better coverage of the event. A second advantage, if you compare it to television, is that for news agencies is hard to be at the news event in time, because they have to come out with a van and a satellite up link. Its not that the setup is huge, you can do it with a small car, but it has to come from somewhere. Somebody has to call them or do a tweet and then they come which is logical because you cant be anywhere at any time. So how about the idea of every person with Camerize in his/her pocket is a potential broadcaster. Something happens, the cameras see it and they can stream it to a news agency. The news agency can see where it is on the map and they can warn other people. Before you know you have 10 or 15 camerize people in place covering what was happening
Q. So all you need is a cell phone?
M. Eventually you can work with Camerize anywhere. From your home where you have a computer, a laptop or anything. But I’m traveling around a lot. For example here (in Amsterdam) in this building we have a much better internet connection than I have at my home. I could have a really good network at my home but why should I? Sometimes you are just part of an event and then it is best to have the control room somewhere else so what’s in the bag is not more than a computer. And that’s it! No special gear. Obviously when you are shooting all day, camera batteries is always a problem, so I have a lot of spare batteries and chargers and stuff so If we are lets say hired to an event then we can get cameras running for a long time.
Q. What is Wikia? and how about your collaboration on the Star Wars episode release?
M. Wikia is a worldwide company and they host communities. Let’s say they are the commercial version of Wikipedia. They host whole communities in gaming in movies, lifestyle, comic strips everything you can imagine. Star Wars is one of their biggest communities, and Wikia Star Wars community is one of the biggest Star Wars communities. So we started working with them and for the event tomorrow we thought we would do something around the Star Wars premiere. That is a sort of test for Camerize. All the Wikia people will go to Star Wars together. They will do it on the same day around the world. Because of the time zones they start earlier in Japan, then it will come to Europe, then to the East Coast and then to the West Coast .
Q. So on the day of the Star Wars episode premiere there will be different people from different countries live streaming from their cell phones?
M. Yes, and we will gather all the streams and switch back and forth between time zones and you will see on our YouTube Channel people in Tokyo, after 30 minutes people in Poznan, then in Cologne, we will go back in Tokyo and then it will be time for the premiere in Amsterdam and last in New York; and will go back and forth to show this interaction.
Well, that should be all for now, thank you very much for your time!
Special thanks to Sia Sourelou for interviewing Martinus, in December 2015, in Amsterdam.