Droplet Drops Hardware for Mobile Video


Droplet isn’t a new company, but it says it has a new way to improve the mobile video experience. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company says it has developed an all-software solution that can handle both capturing and playback of video on a mobile device, as well as move it through the network. The result, according to Droplet President and CEO John D. Ralston, is that recorded videos will be bigger in size, better in quality, and Droplet will enable two-way video communication on just about any phone with video capabilities.

Ralston stopped by the NTV HQ to explain a little more and show us a demo:

The software approach supposedly saves battery life by moving the encoding/decoding off of the chip, though Droplet wouldn’t give us any hard numbers, saying that it depended on the frame size, rate, and length of the video.

Droplet started out in the video security business, developing software for the boxes that capture security camera footage. The company relaunched in 2006 to focus on mobile video and now has 22 employees (half of whom are outsourced in China). It raised $5.5 million in angel funding and has received $3 million in revenue from a previous video security deal with Panasonic.

Droplet plans to generate revenue through technology licensing and advertising and subscription partnerships with mobile operators, web portals and device and service providers. Look for the product to arrive in the first half of 2009.

While the technology looks promising, we’re still skeptical. This hardware vs. software solution drama has been playing out for a while now, and we’re not convinced all this video can be captured, compressed and sent using just an ARM processor.

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