14 Jan Video Feature: Some Standouts at the International CES
LAST week, manufacturers from all over the world gathered in Las Vegas — as they do every January — for International CES, a giant electronics show where they displayed televisions, computers and weird and wonderful gadgets. Nowadays, apps are also showcased or previewed alongside the hardware.
So which apps stood out at CES? Here’s a rundown.
First on the list is one that has been causing a stir: MeVee. It is a social network for sharing live video clips, and its user numbers have grown rapidly since its introduction at CES.
With a few taps, you can broadcast a video live from your phone’s main camera or the selfie camera (so you can make a “talking head” style video). MeVee’s makers suggest you stream for longer than 15 seconds to make the experience meaningful for viewers. As you transmit video using MeVee, you see alerts as viewers join your stream, which lets you say hello to them in real time. Viewers can click “like” and make comments.
All of this will sound familiar if you have previously used Meerkat or Periscope, which are live streaming apps that became popular last year. But MeVee is aiming for high-quality audio and video to set it apart from its rivals.
MeVee also has a few tricks for viewing video, among them making it easy to share a stream on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. That means viewers do not have to have MeVee installed to watch a stream that has been created. The app’s makers are also trying to separate streams into different categories, like sports and music, to make video easy to find.
Since MeVee is new, it has run into issues, including one problem that makes it easy to block a particular user by accident. The “channels” system isn’t working yet, either. But the app has promise and is easy to use. It is free on iOS.
Several other apps that made headlines at CES were previewed ahead of their release dates, including Edjing Scratch. From the makers of the successful app Edjing (free on iOS, Android and Windows), Scratch is an attempt to give digital smartphone D.J. apps a retro feel.
Scratch emulates a vinyl record that is scratched with the needle of a turntable. The app is said to have access to more than 50 million tracks already available online via SoundCloud or Deezer and users’ own MP3 files, and it presents the tracks through a touch-screen mixing interface that looks like a real record deck.
If you already own a time-code D.J. turntable, you may be able to connect it directly to Scratch through your phone to add all sorts of features, like the ability to mix seamlessly between tracks coming from vinyl and an MP3 source. It is free, and will be introduced soon for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Apps were the main attraction at another CES event: the Mobile Apps Showdown competition. In it, the public was asked to vote on which of a group of recently released apps was most likely to succeed. For me, the most interesting was one called myEmerg.