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If you’re going to bare your soul via a live video stream, what better way to do it than by using your ever-present cell phone to both shoot and send? That is, as long as your camera doesn’t suck and your bandwidth doesn’t blow. But improvements to both are ongoing and as a result, we’re seeing more live cellphone video streaming efforts.
Last week we told you about Qik, prompting our knowledgeable readers to offer up names of other service providers, including Floobs, Sofia Digital and ComVu. This week, we bring you Flixwagon. The company, which is jointly run out of Tel Aviv and Boston, is currently in private alpha, but promises to let the public in by January. They’re also setting up a special invite page for NewTeeVee readers (we’ll keep you posted).
Flixwagon’s proposed offerings are similar to those of Qik, but include the promise of better picture quality and compatibility with a larger number of phones. Users will be able to stream live video from their cell phones to the web — and eventually, if all goes well, other cell phones. The company has developed versions for both Symbian and Java, but it really requires 3G to get it right. In the U.S. that means you will most likely need a nicer Nokia or Sony Ericsson phone and an AT&T or Sprint unlimited data plan. So even though the service will be available worldwide, the company’s marketing will be focused in Europe, we were told in a phone briefing on Tuesday.
The Flixwagon founding team comes out of telecommunications software maker Comverse. The company was incorporated back in April, and has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from angel investors. It has 10 employees.
Flixwagon isn’t making money yet but it plans to do so through a combination of advertising, premium services, and partnerships with video and news sites to incorporate mobile live streaming.
We think video communication startups like Seesmic, Ustream and Kyte.tv will need to incorporate mobile live video to compete. Kyte just raised $5.6 million from Telefonica, bringing its total funding to about $10 million. Also recall that AT&T is testing a live video service of its own.