I love making martians on my iPhone.  I have a great, free app and since I’m heading to wedding number six of the summer this weekend, I can testify that it is a great hit with both kids and grandparents.

However, there is a new Android app that I’m thrilled about, and I could really have used this summer.  NudgeCam, developed by researchers at FX Palo Alto Laboratory, a corporate research lab owned by Fuji Xerox, provides welcome advice to filmmakers.

According to a great write-up by MIT’s Technology Review, the app serves as a video coach for filmmakers via real-time tracking and reviewing your content.  Feedback ranges from how your shot is framed or how steady your camerawork is to letting you know if the lighting or sound is off and could be enhanced.  Additionally, users can add-in checklists or reminders, such as to get b-roll or capture certain shots before ending the recording.

I can not only see this as a huge tool for those of us on the wedding circuit (make sure to get a shot of Aunt Jane with cousin Mike – and capture her laugh for b-roll), but for human rights defenders.  One of the biggest challenges we and our allies have in the filed is getting good sound, and this app would do wonders to assist with that alone – at least letting the filmmaker know the level.

However, the checklist function is really where my mind starts to hum: What about checklists for the informed consent process? A checklist of all the b-roll shots needed from the protest? A list of universal questions that organizers working remotely are asking to support a multi-authored video collaboration like we did with STAND?

Also, with these checks and balances, as well as with the built-in feedback loops, NudgeCam can not only help activists create better content, but less of it.  From Technology Review: “This is an approach to the media overload problem,” says Scott Carter, who developed the app with colleagues John Adcock and John Doherty.   “NudgeCam is intended to guide the capture of video so you don’t have to edit and review so much footage.”  Carter goes on to add how the NudgeCam developers “…view the app platform as a stepping stone…The goal is that these ideas can one day be embedded in other sorts of higher-end cameras.”

What do you think?

I’m going to keep following this app (and hope to learn when it will be released and for how much), but I’m curious what you all have seen so far and what you think of the ideas in NudgeCam.

What advice would you want in an app on your phone or in your camera (assuming you could turn it off)?  What are some ways you can see NudgeCam expand to support human rights activists using video?  What similar apps have you seen so far (and, have you seen what our friends at the Guardian Project are up to with mobile phones and security)?

One thought on “NudgeCam: A Video Coach in Your Phone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *