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Blog for Vuact.com. Get to the point with videos.

Seven learnings from a failed Kickstarter campaign

We just cancelled funding for our Kickstarter campaign for Vuact Action Capture. The campaign didn’t take of despite pre-gauged interest from potential consumers and industry influencers. What did we learn, and what can you learn from us?

1. Whatever happens, you’ll save time
It’s a good thing to fail at Kickstarter if you’ve created a campaign to test the market. We spent time in testing the viability of the idea and in building a quick prototype, mostly in code and with off-the-shelf parts. Shooting a video and creating the marketing material took some time, too. In total, approximately two man-weeks over two months. Not a terrible investment for valuable information. Of course the core technology behind Vuact has been in development for a longer time and we greatly benefited from that.

2. Keep it simple
Action Capture failed at least at this. We had the combination of an app (Android first, iOS maybe), optional heart rate sensor strap and optional phone mounts for bikes. To add complexity, we even mentioned uploading privileges from the app limited to a certain number of videos (to our own cloud – but that was rather obtuse if you didn’t even get your head around the value proposition). The complexity also drove up the goal of the campaign, but we were so far behind by the time funding was cancelled, speculating on its effect is moot.

3. Have a clear audience
Related to the above. Our problem was that we were sort of wooing the biking audience, but with a quantified self angle, while keeping the door open towards car drivers and skiiers… you see the problem. Any message gets lost if you try to talk to multiple audiences at the same time.

4. Do not launch without media support / promotion
You might think “well, I’ll just try my luck even if I don’t get any press.” Unless you have an amazing and simple product or a heartbreaking story, you probably won’t make it. Postpone the campaign until you secure promotional partners, media support or an influencer who can get the word out. And of course the product or project should be amazing and simple anyway. We had lukewarm interest from a few large or very targeted media who we wanted to launch with, but none of those went through in the end.

5. Don’t buy the snake oil
You will get contacted by various companies and consultants offering PR help, press release distribution, and exposure to an interested audience. Don’t pay them. We used Backershub, GadgetFlow and one other service. They were all worthless in proportion. They likely work better if you fix parts 2-3 above, but it is highly unlikely they would turn the tide for you.

6. Treat it like a channel, not a marketplace
While KS and other crwodfunding marketplaces will give you some organic traffic and traction, you should not rely on it at all. There are tons of project vying for attention. This is like launching a product by submitting your website to Google. You haven’t even started your marketing. We didn’t limit our marketing to KS of course, but seeing the campaign in action was a good reminder of this.

7. Getting a campaign through may not be the only positive outcome
We would have loved to see the campaign succeed. Even while it failed, we’ve been approached by interesting potential partners and customers. The added exposure can be critical even when a value prop is still taking shape. The campaign was just one learning cycle.

For now Vuact continues to be offered in its web-based, audience-driven player, which helps you mark, find and share content inside of videos. You can create a free account here, or see the pricing for private and custom use cases here.

Vuact Action Capture on Kickstarter

We’re crowdfunding on Kickstarter to create a new way of combining video and sensor data. Called Vuact Action Capture, the product consists of a smartphone app and Bluetooth Smart sensors. Action Capture takes the data recorded by the sensors and displays that on the video timeline. That gives you easy access to your peak moments, and can even create Automatic Highlights edits for you, saving you tons of time.

With just over three weeks to go, our Kickstarter campaign admittedly hasn’t seen the traction we think it deserves. But don’t let that discourage you – make us a pledge here! We’re kicking off more promotions and outreach, too.

"Video Analysis is Crucial" in Sports

"We only get a handful of (practice) runs, specifically six runs of official training, which is why video analysis becomes crucial," said Scott Novack, director of high performance for the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

Reuters reported today on how Olympics teams use video analysis tools to improve their performance. Video is of course a powerful analysis medium. Unfortunately, it is one that is unwieldy to process without special tools. You need to be able to find the right moments in the performance and compare them to a benchmark, or otherwise process and discuss them.

There are many tools in the field of professional sports for this. Here are three key products you should know about.

Ubersense

Specializes in slow-motion video analysis. Especially good for narrowing analysis down on a certain key part of the performance, such as a pass or a jump. Allows drawings, voice annotations and comparisons to video benchmarks. Excellent for coaching in skills. App is free, annual subscription to Elite features is $24.99, with sports-specific packs at $4.99.

Coach’s Eye

Similar to Ubersense – more visually colorful, which works especially well for rich visual annotations. Many same key features. iOS app is $4.99 with in-app purchases from $4.99 to $9.99 for more features.

Sportstec Product Suite

A much more ‘enterprise level’ solution, Sportstec’s powerful product suite takes care of capturing, coding, reviewing and sharing the performance. At Vuact, we especially like their emphasis on coding the videos, which is key for processing the material. It is easy to capture hours of practice time: coding it for fast review is additional work, and anything that can be done to make that easier is a great time- and cost-saver. 

With Vuact’s video player, coding moments in videos is easy with the customizable Reactio Buttons. You can grab almost any video on the web, add it to Vuact, add your custom buttons and watch the video while adding your reactions to the timeline. Our Reaction Timeline shows a quick real-time visualization of the content of the video. 

Vuact’s Action Capture goes even further. With it, you are able to combine sensor data onto the video timeline, making finding key moments even faster – without any need to code or review the video material beforehand. Read more here and get a special sneak peek!

Congrats to the good folks at Infogram for taking Gold in the Tools category!
infogram:

We are thrilled to announce that Infogr.am has been named as the most beautiful infographic creator. Yesterday we have received Gold prize from prestigious “Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards” in category Data visualization tools. 
“Information is Beautiful” and its founder Dave McCandless has inspired many information artists, including us, and data visualization projects worldwide. 
See more in Information is Beautiful

Congrats to the good folks at Infogram for taking Gold in the Tools category!

infogram:

We are thrilled to announce that Infogr.am has been named as the most beautiful infographic creator. Yesterday we have received Gold prize from prestigious “Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards” in category Data visualization tools.

“Information is Beautiful” and its founder Dave McCandless has inspired many information artists, including us, and data visualization projects worldwide.

See more in Information is Beautiful

Vuact for TEDx events

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Vuact is happy to partner with TEDx in offering our video player for free for TEDx event organizers. Our first live pilot was with TEDxCentralSaintMartins in London, so this is a great opportunity to give back to the enthusiastic TEDx community.

If you are organizing a TEDx event, or have videos from past TEDx events, we’re also happy to help you set up your videos. We can also feature your TEDx videos on the TEDx On Vuact channel after they have been added to TED’s official YouTube channel (per the TEDx rules). You can read more about Vuact’s publisher benefits here, and get in touch with the team over email at hi@vuact.com.

Want to see Vuact in action on a TEDx video? Watch Tom Hulme at TEDxCentralSaintMartins with “Designing Emergence”.

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Get more Vuact on our homepage!

The Phenomenon of Viral Video Strikes Again

There has been something strange and wonderful happening online this week. Get this: a video of a baby went viral! We know, we can’t believe it either. Ahem. 

The viral video of the baby crying as her mother sings to her has caused a stir, especially within the online parent community (read: mommy and daddy bloggers). Some of the people who are over-thinking talking about this video are concerned about the over-emotional nature of the baby. They say she is going to be an emotional train-wreck as she gets older. Others say that the baby is merely reacting to her mother’s body language and facial expressions, causing her to show emotion, as well. Others still are simply enjoying the sweetness of this old soul listening her mother sing to her. 

Here, watch the video and decide for yourself which camp you’re in:

While you’re at it, go on over to Vuact.com and give us a test-drive. You can sign up for a free account in 30 seconds or less, and be on your way to enjoying the awesomeness of Vuact. 

You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.

Xbox One Will Change Your Home

The promo video of Xbox One concentrates on two aspects of the console: being a part of something grand and exciting, and doing that participation with totally new interactions. Voice commands and full body gestures are ideally just the beginning of the ways that new consoles will change our homes, fit our behavior and make our lives different.

Check out the video and mark the highlights!