Happaning aims to be a ‘Google Street View’ for video – TechCrunch


A new startup called Happaning wants to make video a more immersive experience by allowing people to watch the same event from multiple angles. Or, as co-founder and CEO Andrew Eniwumide likes to say, it’s “Google Street View, but with video”. The company believes that its unique technology offering these videos from multiple perspectives could ultimately do more than just introduce a new user experience for the video – it could solve other issues of misinformation or deep-rooted forgery, for example, as there would be other verified perspectives of the same scene which could be used to verify any attempt to mislead others through video edits.

However, some of his higher goals in this area are more advanced.

Launched today at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 as a “wildcard” in the startup battlefield, the first beta of Happaning will first showcase its concept of multi-vintage videos, or what it’s known as technology name “ViiVid”. It is a system in which users create video content using its mobile application, which is then combined with videos shot in the same location at the same time.

Although the system does not use blockchain technology to verify videos in any way, there are some similarities to this concept. Happening borrows from the blockchain idea of ​​a decentralized network where many sources contribute something like a ledger. But in Happening, no node has the same information as another, that is, one person’s video is unlike any other. Together, however, they display a fuller truth about what happened in a particular place and time.

The company has patented certain concepts related to its technologies involving the synchronization of multiple video streams and the user experience of browsing different video perspectives, locally in the UK, where the team is based, and with the World Property Organization. intellectual.

The initial use cases for such technology would be the recording of real world events such as weddings, concerts, sporting events, demonstrations or marches, or any other event attended by a greater number of people. people. Once recorded in Happaning, you can then switch between videos to see the same event from other angles and perspectives by tapping the markers inside the video. Imagine, for example, being able to switch from a video filmed at the back of the concert watching the stage to a video in the front row.

Eniwumide says he came up with the idea for Happening to address issues with video abuse to mislead people. He notes that the problem is widespread in social media, pointing to a report that says Facebook posts from sources of disinformation get 6 times more engagement than those from reputable news sites.

“Over time the storytelling media has become more and more sophisticated to the point where we now have 360 ​​videos. But we also see with videos, the fact that they are subject to abuse, that they are subject to careless assembly, that they are subject to prejudices and even to deep counterfeits, ”said Eniwumide. He imagined that an app that could verify video content hadn’t been edited and actually played where it claimed to be, might be of help.

“We like to think of it like Google Street View, but with video,” continues Eniwumide. “So you can record a video and someone else records in the local area, and we sync those video feeds based on time, location, and audio and visual cues. “

Then someone watching could swipe in the direction they want to move, in the same way that Google Street View allows you to move in different directions to see things from other angles and points of view.

At launch, the focus is on live streaming videos, but later the startup wants to develop their IP into a technology standard and offer ways to export and publish the videos elsewhere. The first version of Happaning is largely an MVP and a tech demo – the overall user interface and experience doesn’t look or feel fully developed at this point. But the app is free, with longer-term plans for subscription levels, assuming it gains traction.

Eniwumide’s experience includes over 12 years of experience as a software developer and senior consultant at UK engineering companies including Detica and BAE Systems. He is joined by CFO Leslie Sagay, Marketing Director Joanna Steele, Technical Director Colin Agbabiaka and AJ Adesanya, who works on infrastructure. Most of the team, however, is not full time with the startup at this point.

Happaning has raised a total of £ 219,500 in pre-seed funding to a £ 3million pre-money valuation, and aims to raise £ 500,000 seed at a pre-money valuation of 4.5million from £.

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