Test-Driving WeatherScope, a Live Social Media Weather App Built with the Wowza GoCoder SDK
June 2, 2016 by
The workforce here at Wowza is spread all over the world—as I write this, it's 54°F and overcast at my home office in Portland, Oregon, when I take my dog out to frolic; around the same time, my California and Iowa colleagues are enjoying 80° days as they check in on the chickens and baby bunnies at their office locations. Another co-worker is getting ready to board a flight amid gray skies and rain in Denver while yet another is enjoying a warm evening in Madrid's main square. We may mention these things to each other as we chat before a meeting or over Slack, but sharing video with each other helps us feel more connected and builds a sense of camaraderie, no matter how far away we are.
These days we're using the WeatherScope app to do that, via live and VOD streams. It's the first Wowza GoCoder SDK–based mobile streaming app to hit the app stores, and we're having a lot of fun with it. (Download it for Android or iOS and give it a try.)
Check out our five-minute video interview with WeatherScope's chief media officer Khash Naraghi, and read my short Q&A with WeatherScope CEO Lawrence Karnow below.
What features of the GoCoder SDK made you choose it?
We were looking for an SDK that would allow us to provide a high-quality live stream from both iPhone and Android mobile devices. We had been working with several other companies with less-than-favorable results. Fortunately, we found Wowza. WeatherScope was one of the first companies to test the trial version of the Wowza GoCoder SDK. We worked closely with Wowza technicians to help improve the SDK and make it ready for market. Now I think it's the best SDK available!
What's the coolest thing you've seen streamed from the app so far?
I've seen so many amazing live streams already. One of my favorites is from a couple live-streaming while kayaking off Maui. The deep blue water, surrounded by fiery red volcanic rock and lush green tropical forest, was absolutely stunning! The video quality was so vivid, it made it seem like you were there. I've also watched people stream in a howling blizzard in the Colorado Rockies, near the billowing smoke of a California wildfire, and by whales breaching in the ocean with parasailors soaring overhead.
At what resolution(s) do you stream? Do you transcode streams for adaptive bitrate delivery?
We are currently streaming in 4K on some of the latest smartphones. As even newer phones come to market with better live-streaming capability, the Wowza SDK will allow us to provide the highest-quality live streams on the planet. The idea behind WeatherScope is not just to help people see the world, but feel like they're really experiencing it, even from across the globe. We are transcoding streams for adaptive bitrate delivery. We're still tweaking that feature to make sure we can provide the best, stable live stream. With the Wowza SDK, we are able to make it happen.
The app is fun to use, and we’re looking forward to seeing it evolve. What additional features are you working on now?
There are soooo many new things we're working on now. But in the near future you can expect to see more social media interaction, a feature allowing the broadcaster to save their video to their own device, and a zoom feature to get a closer look at fun things in 4K. There are so many exciting things that we're working on, but they are top secret right now. This is only the beginning for WeatherScope!