Is TouchCast the future of video web ala Minority Report?

By Dennis Clemente

The future of the video web ala Minority Report is already here. Charley Miller, head of product of TouchCast, presented it at the NY Video Meetup at Columbia University last July 23 as if he were ordering coffee when everybody in the audience would gladly have thrown him a ticker tape parade. People couldn’t wait to get their hands on it, nearly upstaging a young kid’s presentation of the Google Glass.

What Touchcast ushers in is a new way of using the web where video is the canvas and all interactivity (ala Minority Report, I repeat) happens inside using what it calls Vapps—or video apps. They are active HTML objects inside videos.
A video shows how each TouchCast can contain web pages, documents, videos, pictures and interactive regions, bringing the world of video and web together.

This is going to create a new mode of interaction that is going to change not only how people view video, but how they view the web. For those waiting for the promise of The Jetsons, it looks like it’s going to happen, after all.

As the Touchcast people would say, “The web is about to graduate from a massive, stagnant magazine to a vibrant, engaging, conversational and more video-like medium: the video web.” You can download it now on the iPad.

The other presenters of the day were Narratively and CameraTag.

Where online publications these days choose to inundate us with stories, Narratively is presenting something almost unheard of: one story a day about a city.

Launched last September 2012, presenters Emon Hassan, Director of Video and Noah Rosenberg, CEO/co-founder, said Narratively is their way of slowing things down. “We don’t care about breaking news or the next big headline; we’re devoted exclusively to sharing a city’s rich, untold stories using an approach we call ‘slow journalism’.”

Narratively, named one of TIME’s “50 Best Websites of 2013,” is a platform devoted to original and in-depth stories about New York and other cities. It has a platform for shorter content called Narratively Shorts. There, you’ll find original short stories with behind-the-scenes interviews with contributors and subjects. They also post observations and reflections on the state of media and storytelling.

So if they’re presenting us with only one story a day, how are they going to keep our interest? They said they have a stable of writers, editors, photographers, artists, designers and filmmakers who have worked for top media outlets like the New York Times, New York magazine, CNN, NPR, MediaStorm, the New Yorker and the BBC.
Narratively could work with CameraTag. Founder Chris Danzig said even with advancements in HTML5, there is still no simple way to collect videos from your users.

With one line of code on CameraTag, Danzig said you can now easily start collecting videos for applications ranging from video comments to talent competitions, political action, virtual interviews, talent scouting and more.

Following are some of its features:
• HD webcam recording. Capture videos from your users’ webcams at resolutions up to 720p.
• Desktop uploads. Allow users to upload videos from their hard drive without worrying about strange formats or codecs, as it ingests and transcodes whatever you’ve got.
• Record by phone. Enable users to record directly from their mobile device to their desktop browser (without any app or plugin downloads).
• Record on-the-go. Record videos directly from the browser of most popular mobile devices (iOS 6+, Android 2.2+).
• 100% customizable interface. All HTML interface is 100% customizable.
As special guest, Kelly Day, BlipTV CEO, talked about the future of the digital television network as it builds and expands its deep library of original content, multiple distribution platforms and creative advertising solutions.
“We’re positioning Blip as an online video destination and a collaborative partner for producers, advertisers and content partners,” she said.

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Dennis Clemente

Shuttling between New York and other US cities, Dennis writes about tech meetups when he's not too busy working as a Web Developer/Producer + UX Writer and Digital Marketer.

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