Looxcie Challenges Ustream With Their Own, Free, Direct-to-Facebook Streaming App — A First on Android
Looxcie today launched their own Facebook channel, along with an update to their free live-streaming app — called LooxcieLive that turns any Android or iOS device into a video broadcast camera that streams video straight to your Facebook feed.
Of course, Looxcie’s isn’t the first app to do this; Utsream did the same thing just a week or so ago with their own app, Broadcast for Friends (with the gag-me-cute acronym of BFF). The difference here is that Looxcie’s Facebook channel can also serve up live broadcasts from Looxcie’s own hardware — which may make first-person-perspective shooting easier than, say, duct-taping your smartphone to your forehead (snicker all you want, we’re sure it’s been done). And, of course, Looxcie is first out the gate — and the only Ustream to the punch with an Android app.
The app’s UI feels pretty friendly, and the list of features looks basic, but solid — even if it lacks the filter trick of the Ustream app, there’s at least the ability to record broadcasts and store them in the cloud for later viewing, set videos to public or private, etc. Here’s a rundown of the features, straight from the press release:
· Private Broadcasts: Invite one or more friends to watch your broadcast. Select people to invite before, during, or after the broadcast.
· Public Broadcasts: Let the whole world watch your broadcast. Select from several public channels to categorize your broadcast.
· Broadcast Storage: Unable to watch a broadcast live? No problem. Broadcasts are stored in the cloud for you or your friends to watch later.
· Broadcast Management: Change the settings and invitation lists for your own broadcasts.
· Recorded Broadcasts: Share a link with friends to watch a broadcast after it has ended.
· Mobile Viewing: Watch live broadcasts and recorded broadcasts right from your smartphone.
· Adaptive Streaming: Looxcie’s end-to-end technology adjusts the video automatically to optimize the video stream, regardless of the network (3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi).
· Live Thumbnails: Video thumbnails on the View screen let you quickly browse through a list of all your friends who are broadcasting live.
· Push to Talk: Talk in real time directly to the broadcaster and add fun and witty audio commentary.
· Text Chat: Share a comment on the action with the broadcaster and anyone else who may be watching.
· Notifications: Instantly find out when your friends are broadcasting, even when the app is inactive.
· Facebook Sign-In: Use your Facebook user name and password to get started quickly, and share live broadcasts and recorded broadcasts with your Facebook friends.
· Facebook Integration: Invite your Facebook friends to watch your video, post your broadcasting status on your wall, and send a live broadcast directly to Facebook.
Looxcie is betting you’ll pop for their $150-$180 Looxcie 2 camera after using the app, to send video straight from their hardware to your Facebook page.