Video Streaming on a Smartwatch


With the growing speculation over the Apple Watch, which is due to be released later this year and the plethora of smartwatches displayed at CES 2015 it is expected that the smartwatch may go from novelty item to main accessory within a few years. Something that may tip the scales for smartwatches is video streaming.

Many companies are anticipating this growth by designing custom applications that will make the smartwatch almost as important as your phone. Glide is one such designer that is anticipating the popularity of the smartwatch.

Glide is a Jerusalem based company that specializes in streamed video messages between mobile devices. Instead of needing to have both parties on at the same time, you can leave them a video message that they can pick up at their convenience and they can leave you one.

Communication in this day and age is easier than ever, yet it is texting is convenient, yet it can cause a lot of problems because you can’t easily convey emotions or connotations. A simple comment sent in text can be taken wrong by the recipient. Video chat is live and interactive, but then you have the problems with time zones and connections that don’t always make it the most convenient form of interaction.

Using Your Smartwatch for Video Streaming

Glide was started by three young entrepreneurs who lived thousands of miles away from their family and friends and were frustrated by the problems encountered by trying to keep in touch across the time zones.

Now we have Glide to bring these two forms of communication together. Glide may be one of the newest things out there that combines live video chat and texting using a unique patent-pending video technology.

With current applications you record a message locally and then upload it after recording is complete. Glide allows you to broadcast live the moment you start recording because it saves it on the cloud. This allows you to have either a real time conversation or the recipient can watch and respond to the message at their convenience.

The best part of this is that Glide message take up absolutely no room on your device and it uses about half of the bandwidth that a normal video chat would take.

The Apple Watch isn’t designed for video, it has no video recorder or camera, it only has a microphone. Chaim Haas, the Glide spokesman, tells us that they have successfully used their app on the Apple smartwatch. The smartwatch can only send audio streams, but it can receive Glide video streams. Whether Glide will be available for the Apple Watch is still up in the air because Apple decides which apps are included in their App Store. Haas said his company has shown Apple what it can do, but “at the end of the day, we’ll see what they allow.”

We are also told that they have successfully used their program with Google’s Android smartwatch software.

At the Consumer Electronics Show Glide demonstrated their capacity on a rather chunky looking prototype smartwatch that was 3G and Wi-Fi enabled and equipped with a camera and microphone. They used this device to transmit video to other smartwatches and mobile devices.

A few interesting features of the Glide include:

  • Automatic copying of a video to the cloud as it’s streamed
  • Cloud storage of the video, allowing it to be viewed again later
  • The Sender can delete the video and all copies of it, even from the recipients devices
  • Live video stream can be sent simultaneously to up to 50 people

Glide currently has 15 million registered users and is currently available as a free app. The company has not yet generated income from this program, but if marketing takes off they may try to generate revenue from subscriptions, sponsored streams, or premium services. They do however assert that they will not insert ads into messages that their users send.

As cool as this technology is, video streaming may still not be enough to make smartwatches that will appeal to the public, they may still be too large and clunky for the average user and the battery life on them is predicted to be short.