Smith Micro gains fresh adaptive mobile video streaming patent
Joseph O'Halloran | 02-12-2013
Sensing the opportunity in supporting those feeding the seemingly endless end-user appetite for video at any place, Smith Micro has been granted a new US patent for adaptive mobile video streaming.
In explaining its new push into the mobile video arena, the company notes the latest Cisco's Visual Networking Index Forecast which estimates that video will comprise nearly three-quarters (71%) of all mobile data traffic by 2016. Smith adds that in addition to consumer demand for mobile video from sites like YouTube and over-the-top (OTT) services like Netflix, there is a growing trend to push video content to consumers in the form of advertising or 'freemium' content.
These dynamics, Smith Micro proposes, will lead to new, revenue-generating mobile services, but it warns that without adaptive video streaming capability, a clogged network combined with inconsistent device support can result in a poor user experience where videos are slow to load, freeze up or can't be viewed at all.
"Demand for mobile video is exploding, however delivering a good user experience via traditional video streaming methods is becoming increasingly challenging,'" commented Jim Lundy, CEO, Aragon Research. "Adaptive video streaming not only allows network operators to provide the best user experience, but it also opens up new revenue generating opportunities."
The patented technology — the fifth of its kind approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office — will see use in the company's VIDIO online video platform which is attributed with the ability of solving problems related to slow, expensive methods of traditional streaming over wireless networks that can degrade video quality or limit the reach of video content. Smith says that by dynamically adjusting the bit rate of streaming video based on current network capacity, wireless network operators and others providing mobile video content can ensure the best possible user experience to the broadest possible audience.
"Our VIDIO platform can address countless mobile video use cases, from hospitality to public safety to field services, but it is especially useful in large venues like sporting events, where sudden peaks in demand for bandwidth can cause network bottlenecks," said Doug Jones, director of product management at Smith Micro. "Imagine the impact of hundreds of thousands of people attending the FIFA World Cup events in Brazil, or the upcoming Olympics in Russia, all trying to access an instant replay or video profile of their favourite athlete simultaneously. Without adaptive video streaming, the consumer experience will be spotty at best."