British cellphone network EE has revealed its new action camera, which can stream 10 minutes of live video without a smartphone or computer.
The built-in 4G capability means it is the first device of its kind in the world. Users will be able to live stream video with no need for other devices, a feature which market rival GoPro does not offer, writes Juliette Garside for The Guardian.
EE develops action camera and accompanying streaming app
The new camera is controlled using a screen attached to the user’s wrist, which enables them to see what exactly is being captured by the camera. “We decided to develop it ourselves because there was no 4G camera product,” said EE chief executive, Olaf Swantee. “We predict that we will sell as many connected devices as smartphones in 2017.”
EE has developed an accompanying streaming app called skeegle. In order to watch a broadcast, you will have to be invited by the user of the camera. In contrast, rivals Periscope and Meerkat are public broadcast systems.
The new camera can also record video to its 64GB of internal memory, and should rival GoPro’s legendary toughness thanks to a heavy-duty case. It is also capable of taking 13 megapixel still photographs.
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EE’s skeegle app can broadcast live streams, replay the user’s videos and create and manage contact groups. After creating a circle of friends on the app, users can broadcast a live video stream to them using the “broadcast” icon.
GoPro’s existing range of cameras does not offer direct internet broadcasting out of the box, but add-on apps and kits are available to enable that feature. One option is to link a GoPro camera to a smartphone which runs LiveStream’s third-party app, or use a HeroCast transmitter. The latter costs $7,500 and is targeted at broadcasting companies rather than individual users.
The new Action Cam can save footage in 1080p HD, or stream it at 720p. By contrast, GoPro cameras can record at 4K ultra-high definition. Analysts believe that EE is not attempting to wrestle away GoPro’s title as king of the action camera market, but is targeting a niche market of users.