If you’re hooked to the Web, there’s a good chance you’re hooked to online video too.
Whether it’s YouTube, Vimeo, iPlayer or any of the countless other video hosting websites out there, choosing what you watch – and when & where you watch it – is one of the liberties we perhaps now take for granted on the open Web.
But wait a minute – do we have complete control over our online viewing experience?
With smartphones, tablets, computers and smart TVs, we have so many different platforms to watch content across, keeping tabs on our favorite videos isn’t easy. You start watching one video on your smartphone, but you want to continue watching at home on your computer, then you have to search for it all over again. Multiple platforms and millions of videos…quite the dilemma.
This is where VideoBee aims to change the rules of video interaction online.
What is VideoBee
It’s often the case that a problem doesn’t exist until something comes along and provides a solution. And all of a sudden, your life is made so much easier and you wonder how you managed without it. Can you imagine life now without a mobile phone?
Okay, VideoBee isn’t game-changing in the same sense as the mobile phone, but it will make your life easier if you watch a lot of online video.
VideoBee provides a single, centralized platform to manage and watch bookmarked videos across multiple screens. And you can even continue watching a video at the same point that you stopped it – on a different device, in a different room…heck, even in a different city.
VideoBee is a browser-based application, compatible with PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and TVs through set-top boxes. The technology also allows users to watch videos full-screen, share videos with friends and easily add videos to their VideoBee account.
How it works
VideoBee goes live to the public from today, and you can sign-up for a free account at VideoBee.TV.
When you see a video you want to store on your VideoBee account, you click the ‘Buzz It’ bookmarklet in your browser:
This adds the video to your VideoBee playlist, which is then accessible from any Web-enabled device. You can also personalize your video description at the point of bookmarking it.
As you can see from the screenshot above, when you highlight a video, you are also presented with the option of sharing the video through email, Facebook or Twitter. And for your own benefit, you can insert PlaySpots which reference
specific points in the video, enabling you to continue watching from a specific point from any other device.
You can also add video links into your account by emailing [email protected], putting the title of the video in the subject line, and including the web link in the body of the email. The YouTube app on iOS devices creates emails like this when you’re looking to add a video:
When you visit a particular video in your playlist, you can click ‘Play from PlaySpot: [‘time stamp‘]’, if you’ve set one, or you can simply click ‘Play from start’.
VideoBee has a BigScreen feature that displays the videos in a view that’s optimized for TV. You send videos to your Playlist with any device and they will appear on your TV screen for viewing, though it will be limited to some Set Top Boxes (STBs) initially.
Founder and CEO Ben Hookway tells me that they have just done a deal to embed the technology with a major STB manufacturer, news of this will be announced shortly. And more STBs and Smart TVs will be added to its repertoire eventually, with some mobile apps are in the pipeline too.
VideoBee was developed by Vidiactive, a company founded in Sheffield, England, in January 2009 by Ben Hookway (CEO), Ken Tindell (CTO) and Jerry Ennis (NXD). “We wanted to create an elegant consumer experience”, says Hookway. “We also wanted to make it easier for people to find and share content among people with mutual interests. This is what the VideoBee.tv service provides.”