5 Periscope Moments To Anticipate & The Era of Live Mobile Immersion

Alas, Periscope is now live. The era of “Live Mobile Immersion” — where you’ll be able to experience the world through a substitute — is underway.

While the app has changed a lot since the early concepts and iterations, the core experience and mission have stayed the same. When I first met Kayvon and Joe, co-founders of Periscope, I was struck by their desire to spread truth and empathy by enabling anyone to experience the world through someone else’s eyes (and I subsequently invested and became/remain an advisor). We joked that Periscope was akin to teleportation, a technology and user experience that lets you be anywhere and witness anything. This became a lot more serious when I witnessed a major fire in San Francisco, a child’s first steps, and a man’s cancer treatment.

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This morning I woke up in NYC and took a walk through the streets of Tokyo.

Even during beta testing, I found myself laughing, learning, and emotional at times — a roller coaster of feelings as I experienced other peoples’ moments with a sense of intimacy and influence. I have long believed that the best products support natural tendencies — stuff you’d naturally want to do but can’t because of life’s natural frictions. A great product makes life’s potential more accessible.

With a product like Periscope (and Meerkat, and possibly other live streaming apps yet to come), it is fun to think about the implications and major inflection points.

  1. When your solution for boredom is not games or TV, but virtual travel. Perhaps our childrens’ first travel experiences will be on Periscope, exploring and engaging with the streets of Tokyo or the pyramids in Egypt through someone else’s eyes. Humans are naturally adventurous and curious, and Periscope’s capabilities remove the friction to explore.
  2. When you become an eye-witness to injustice. It’s one thing to read about injustice in the news, it is entirely different to see it for yourself. Human trafficking, marginalized rights, and wars become more distant when summarized on newscasts or editorialized in print. But when you witness something live, you feel a sense of responsibility. I anticipate some major inflection points for social justice as a result of this new kind of network-driven experience.
  3. When people prefer to watch sports on a person’s broadcast rather than a network’s broadcast. Some major questions around content ownership will arise as broadcasting is democratized. The whole notion of a TV network was conceived to enable a one-to-many broadcast. One camera, millions of TVs. Bandwidth is getting better. Mobile cameras are getting better. The viewer will have more choice, and a specific broadcaster will no longer monopolize an event.
  4. When a behind-the-scenes or “unofficial” broadcast of a live TV show has more viewership than the TV show. Just yesterday I was watching the live Today show on Persicope. I was able to see the entire set, the teleprompter, and the many people behind the scenes. With a loss of polish came a gain of authenticity. Humans naturally seek truth, and I think the viewership of rouge broadcasts will surprise us.
  5. When the worlds of live-streaming and Virtual Reality collide. My brain starts to hurt (in a good way) when I think about the possibilities of a fully-immersive broadcast experience. Already, on Periscope, I can make comments and “throw hearts” to influence the broadcast I am watching. What if I could watch and influence the experience in an Oculus headset? I could hop into any moment globally and experience it for myself with full immersion.

Suffice to say, live mobile immersion is here to stay. I hope Periscope both entertains us and informs us…and makes life’s potential a little more accessible to all of us.

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Download Periscope here, now live!

Written by

founder @Behance, cpo @Adobe, early stage investor and product obsessive; author of Making Ideas Happen and The Messy Middle. http://scottbelsky.com

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