iPhone Prophecy

It was July 2008, the iPhone was still a novelty and the second iteration called the iPhone 3G had just been released. The iPhone 3G improved on the Original iPhone in speed and connectivity, but the optics were still deficient and it had one big omission. It couldn’t record video. So on July 16, 2008 I penned a blog post titled – iWant the iPhone Pro!. Here is the gist of my commentary…

The one achilles heel of the current iPhone are its poor optics. The 3G camera is the same 2-megapixel version that shipped with the original iPhone, and it still does not record video. I’m sure some 3rd-party developer will release an App to get it to record video at some point, but at 2-megapixel quality, it won’t be that usable.

So that leads me to the ‘iPhone Pro’. When is it coming, Steve? Oh, you know its coming. Let’s not forget that Apple is steeped in movie making software. This is a company that pioneered the .MOV QuickTime video codec. This is a company that produces Hollywood studio-quality editing software in Final Cut Pro, and has further leveraged their editing prowess to create iMovie for Joe Consumer. Don’t you think we’re going to see iMovie Mobile on the iPhone?

Sooner or later, Steve Jobs is going to walk on stage at the Moscone Center and he’s going to unveil the iPhone of all iPhones. An iPhone that isn’t just going to continue to revolutionize the cellular handset industry, but an iPhone that makes every digital still and video camera manufacturer quiver with fear. Everything from 8+ megapixels, 30-frame-per-second video, zoom, autofocus, image stabilizer etc., and combine all of this with the ability to edit and compose your photos and videos with Apps like Aperture Mobile and iMovie Mobile. Steve Jobs may even bring Steven Spielberg on stage to help demo it and suggest that we are eventually going to witness full-length feature films edited and shot entirely on an iPhone. Heck, we can’t even be that far off from an iPhone HD.

So when is the iPhone Pro coming? I have no idea, but when it does, you can be sure I’ll be buying my first iPhone.”

Fast-forward 6 years, and while I’ve owned my fair share of iPhones and already moved on to Android, I was reminded of that previous post after watching a new commercial spot for luxury automaker Bentley. Bentley produced a beautiful 4-minute promo that was shot entirely on an iPhone 5S and edited exclusively on an iPad Air while sitting in the back of a Bentley Mulsanne. Check it out…

This is by no means the first ‘all iPhone’ commercial production. Another example would be Burberry partnering directly with Apple for their Spring/Summer 2014 fashion show. Burberry used nine iPhone 5S to shoot and produce video of the show.

While Steve Jobs is no longer with us, Steven Spielberg has yet to release a sequel to E.T. shot exclusively with an iPhone and my original post is 6 years old, there is no denying now that the age of the ‘iPhone Pro’ has most definitely arrived.

Tokyo Reverse

“In Tokyo Reverse, it is Zulli who appears to be going forward, the sole exception to a citywide time inversion. In reality, though, the nine-hour French movie (5-minute version below) was made by filming Zulli as he slowly walked backward through Tokyo, then played backward to achieve its dreamy, otherworldly effect. In fact, the 28-year-old ended up taking dance class just to make sure that his movements looked natural when the film was rewound.”

You can still innovate in saturated spaces

I often hear or read that innovating in saturated spaces is too hard. Angels and VCs are typically quick to point out that a space is too populated to invest in and entrepreneurs should look to tread a less worn path. I’ve never particularly supported that logic, so it’s always nice to see a real-world example come along to illustrate why it’s not nearly as hard to innovate in saturated spaces as many will have you believe.

Innovation doesn’t have to be, and rarely is, a case of reinventing the wheel. Innovation can come in the form of a small shift-change in how a process or method is handled. The photo sharing app space is about as saturated as they come in the mobile world. However, almost all photo sharing apps are feed-focused and push-based. You take a photo, it gets added to some sort of user feed, and then you can share it out to your networks, friends, public, whatever.

Povio is a new photo sharing app that just launched a few weeks ago, and on the surface it’s not all that different than most other photo sharing apps, save for one exception. It’s not push-based at all. Povio users request photos from other users, and that’s how the photo sharing ‘conversation’ starts in Povio. Essentially, it’s by request or ping-focused, instead of push-focused. Povio users ping other users and let them know that they’d like to see a photo of theirs, and then they wait for that user to oblige and send it to them. It serves as an example of how a small change in behaviour can be a big differentiator in a crowded space.

Will Povio be a big hit? Hard to say. It’s not a very defensible concept and can easily be cloned or added as a feature to existing apps. It will all depend on how strong and how quickly it can attain a community of users. They were also recently selected to be part of Y Combinator’s latest cohort of startups, so that can only help.

Michio Kaku on Alien Brains

“I love to watch science fiction movies, but I cringe whenever I see a depiction of the aliens. We have Hollywood special effects, so why can’t we get better aliens?”

Web Video Productions Soon To Rival Hollywood

The ‘Video Game High School’ webseries is a small production compared to big-budget Hollywood. But it’s not ‘shot from my basement with an iPhone’ small. It’s the new Semi-Pro small, with enough funding to make a production look almost as polished as Hollywood-driven content, minus several zeros on the balance sheet. Impressive. It won’t be long before many of the shows on broadcast television are started independently on the web by talented videopreneurs, and eventually get acquired by major studios after they’ve been market and traction tested. Not dissimilar to how tech startups are born, grown, then acquired.


Online Video Ad Spend To Grow 40%

A text-centric medium no longer.

After a robust 2011, online video advertising should enjoy yet another year of rapid growth. eMarketer said online video ad spending should jump 40% this year to reach $3.1 billion. That’s after a 52% rise in 2011, and the boost will continue to be powered by pre-roll ads. – MediaPost

My Best Sports Moment of 2011

124 years of Arsenal football, and we had never won a game against Barcelona. On February 16, 2011, I had a feeling it was going to be our night. With the family gathered round and only 12 minutes remaining down 1-0 it was not looking good. That’s when the magic happened…

First came the equalizer…

Then came the winner less than 5 minutes later, and a commentary moment every Arsenal fan will never forget ‘…looks for Arshaviiiiiiiiiiin!”

My favourite sports moment of 2011 by a country mile, and probably for a few years to come. Up the Arsenal!

Is Super Bowl Live Streaming a Touchdown, Field Goal or Just an Extra Point?

One of the primary reasons the NFL and its broadcasting partners have resisted making an online live stream available for the biggest game of the year is viewer cannibalization. However, with big events like the Olympics and March Madness having tested the live stream waters successfully, the NFL and NBC are ready to kick the Super Bowl to the web.

Canadians will be left out of the online party this time, but it won’t be long before that changes. Americans will be able to view two different streams, one with the much-hyped TV ads, and a different stream with ads targeted for the live stream only. While International viewers will be blocked, nobody in US will require a cable account to access the live stream on the web, while Verizon customers will also be granted access on their iOS or Android mobile device.

Of course the one thing everybody will want to know, is how many people will actually watch the game online vs. watching it on that massive flat-panel television you got for the holidays? Time will tell, but I would be surprised if this offering didn’t serve to both expand the audience and provide a pot-pourri of insightful analytics.