Wouldn’t it be great if you could show a friend either a block away or on the other side of the world an event that’s happening through live video on your cell phone? Now you can, and several websites are allowing people to sign up and freely stream live video from cell phone to the interenet.
While older devices weren’t able to transmit large amounts of live video in the bandwidth that was available to them, new 3G and 4G cell phone networks are supporting the ability to be able to transmit live, legible video from something as small as your cell phone, Smartphone, or Pocket PC.
Through some software you install on your phone, you can direct friends, family or others to a link where they can view the live video you are sending. But there are a few different services that do this, and we’ll take a look at each one and some of the features that separate it from the others.
Qik allows for streaming on the most devices of any available service that we could find and it also has an easy-to-use but feature-rich software application that allows you to put the video online.
The mobile application (which supports the devices in the graphic above) allows you to quickly change privacy settings, mute audio or the other options in the screenshot below. When you make a video, not only do you stream it, but you also archive it on their site for future viewing so it plays when you are not streaming. While streaming, information like the data speed, estimated delay (in seconds) of your stream and other useful infomation are overlayed on top of your video when you stream to their site.
You can create your own profile page online (similar to a YouTube profile page) where you can showcase your videos, allow downloading of them in flash or MP4 format and put up some information about yourself.
Videos can be embedded or linked to, commented on and the site even allows for a simple live chat window for your page/videos so users can chat on what you’re streaming.
And whenever you are streaming live, you can always see your video by giving viewers your profile page’s custom URL (www.qik.com/username).
Livecast is second to Qik in the number of devices supported and has other useful features that other streaming services don’t have.
Livecast also has a desktop client so you can stream from a mobile device, or a mobile platform and supports GPS on select phones that can support it so viewers can see where you in a Google Map next to your stream.
You can also set a list of contacts that get notified when you start any stream. Livecast also allows for notification that you’re broadcasting to Twitter, Wordpress, Typepad and YouTube.
Livecast also has a customizable profile page where you can add your own logo, photo and other information about yourself and your streams.
Your viewers can also choose to view your stream in either a Windows Media or QuickTime format. Also, GPS information is easily viewed next to your live stream.
Finally, when you’re not streaming anything, a Livecast “teaser” plays on the streaming window.
Stickam, while not fully designed for mobile use, has developed a client for only Symbian/Nokia phones and offers it on their website. While the client is simple to use, it only has a few features but connects your phone to the wide network of Stickam, one of the most popular video streaming/sharing sites online. Normally, Stickam allows you to stream from a desktop, but their mobile clients allows for use from anywhere.
From the software, you can adjust the settings of the stream (as with other clients). Just as Livecast and Qik do, you can also customize a profile page with a picture and archive of previous media.
As Stickam is primarily for desktops, instructions on how to download and install the mobile application are on the Stickam Blog here (software screenshot courtesy of the Stickam blog).
Do you ever use services like the ones above to stream live videos from cell phone to friends, family, etc? Let us know what service you use, for what occasion and how it went.