As the Internet makes the world smaller and information flow faster, the demand for news outlets to put out news instantaneously has never been greater.
Gary Symons is familiar with this fast-paced life, having worked as a reporter for a number of years. Symons has even worked in the field as a MoJo, or mobile journalist, for CBC.
But while he was living the MoJo’s untethered lifestyle, Symons was bogged down by all the heavy equipment required in his work.
“I carried around a lot of gear,” said Symons. “I had TV cameras, I had editing suites, I had editing machines, I had tripods. I just had a tremendous amount of equipment.”
Carrying all this heavy, not to mention expensive, equipment from one assignment to another made Symons realize there must be a way to ease a working MoJo’s burden.
“What I was really looking for was something much smaller, compact, basically a single device that could do all the work I did with all this equipment,” he said.
Symons founded VeriCorder Technology, Inc. shortly after leaving the newsroom. The company has created a suite of apps to create, edit and transmit audio, multimedia and video material on an iPhone.
1st Video is a user-friendly video editing app that allows you to do professional, multi-track editing on your phone. The new version boasts broadcast-ready, high-definition capability for television.
There’s also the VC Audio Pro to edit audio for broadcast, ShowCase to manage multimedia and slideshows, and IPTV Systems to broadcast Internet TV.
And while there are plenty of video, audio and multimedia apps available on iTunes, none integrate easily into newsrooms like the VeriCorder apps do.
It was recognized as one of the Top 10 Technologies in last year’s International Broadcasting Conference in Amsterdam amidst 1,300 contenders.
“We put our application against $2,800 editing suites, and we found we can usually edit a piece three or four times faster than they can. Not only that, with our new app, we can actually render video faster than a MacBook Pro. We render 720p HD video in real time, so if you do a one-minute story, it renders in one minute.”
But what’s really unique to VeriCorder is the Mobile Integration Management System (MIMS). Coupled with VeriCorder’s user database called FindStringers, it allows news organizations to gather and disseminate news way faster and with less hassle.
“Let’s say you’re CNN and you have an account with FindStringers and an earthquake hits in Indonesia, (but) you don’t have any reporters in the area. You can look at your FindStringers account (and) you can see all the freelance reporters in the area who have our application and have an account with us. You’ll be able to hire them on the spot.”
By pressing the “Hire” button, the freelance reporter is automatically added into the newsroom system and can file stories directly from their smartphone or any web-enabled device.
The FindStringers website, an online marketplace for freelancers and news outlets, will have a beta launch on Sept. 10 and will officially be released in October.