If you remember the way video was handled on the Internet a decade ago, it was a pretty sloppy situation. Netflix was still two years away from launching its streaming service, and Apple hadn't yet introduced video to its iTunes online store. To watch something, you often had to download special video player software, or sit and wait while a QuickTime movie downloaded. And if you wanted to upload video of your own, you had to navigate a sea of different formats — and restrictions on file size.
When I wrote a story for the New York Times in October 2005 about the various companies that wanted to make it simpler to share and view video online, it was tough to tell who was going to win. One of the entrepreneurs I interviewed was Chad Hurley, who co-founded YouTube. (It launched ten years ago this month.)
Read MoreWatching You Watching MeIntelligent Video system analyzes facial expressions in real time
I'm not a big buyer of dangly earrings or silver-and-turquoise cuffs, but I have to admit: the new video "house party" software from Kitsy Lane, a Boston-based e-commerce startup, is a lot of fun. Instead of lining up a babysitter and visiting a friend's house to nibble cheese and crackers and try on costume jewelry, you sign on for a group videochat. The new vParty software is part of a recently-launched site from Kitsy Lane called Chelsea Row that focuses on selling jewelry and accessories online, through in-person "trunk shows" and the new live video events.
I've watched this video a few times, and it still blows my mind: Using high-speed video of nearby items, such as a plant or stray chip wrapper, MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe researchers found a way to analyze vibrations and algorithmically recreate roughly what sounds were in the room, down to actual words being spoken or a tune being played — without any recorded audio cues.
Read MoreReruns'The Understanding of Pans in 3- to 6-Year-Old Children'
At a moment when we're all burdened by unanswered e-mails, unlistened-to voicemails, and all kinds of alerts pinging our mobile phones, Vsnap founder Dave McLaughlin has a strong belief about the power of video: a personalized video message can cut through all the noise, he says.
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