24 hours of live streaming from New York, and not a minute of sleep: That’s the promise behind the Bambuser New York challenge, which starts at 9 am ET (6 am PT) today. The live streaming experiment stars Bambuser’s co-founder and executive chairman Hans Eriksson, who is going to let his viewers be the guide to the city, following their suggestions on what to do, where to go and what to eat until 9am ET Wednesday.
The Swedish live streaming startup wants to use the challenge to become a little better known in the U.S., but Eriksson told me last week that it’s also an experiment in interactive live streaming. “It’s about challenging people to participate and to contribute,” he said. Eriksson tried the same thing in London earlier this year, and he was surprised by the spot-on suggestions from countless strangers. “The Internet and social media bring a lot of good out of people,” he told me.
The biggest challenge for the New York experiment could be mobile broadband connectivity. Eriksson complained about the poor quality of 3G network connections when I met him in San Francisco a few days ago, and his experiences in New York haven’t been much better, judging by a recent post on the Bambuser challenge Tumblr:
“How do New Yorkers get things done? The network here is really really bad. After a lot of hassle and calls, we finally got our equipment working. And even though we’re broadcasting on a 4G network, the speeds are a LOT slower than 3G in Europe. It’s a great city – really buzzing with excitement – but it’s lumbered with a third world network.”
Bambuser was founded in 2007 in Sweden, and has since established itself as a live streaming startup with a strong focus on mobile video. The company recently launched new versions of its iOS and Android apps that support a so-called complement data approach: Users can live stream at a lower quality first, and then simply upload any missing frames for a high-quality archive version.
Check out this video interview I did with Eriksson and Bambuser CEO Jonas Vig early last year: