Facebook has made a huge push into live broadcasting recently, including putting a new video discovery hub right in the center of its app.
And on Tuesday, Facebook debutedits first official camera hardware partner for live video, a nifty camera from industry pioneer Livestream called the Mevo.
The Mevo camera is a rebrand of a camera called Movi, which impressed critics earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The main pitch of the Mevo is that its software lets you easily cut between different camera angles, and makes it look like you have multiple cameras set up, when in fact you only have one.
“The idea is that you can have a TV studio in your pocket,” Livestream CEO Jesse Hertzberg tells Business Insider. “That one person could produce a TV-quality show.”
While you are live-streaming, Mevo automatically detects things like faces, and then you simply tap to cut between angles. If we use the recent popular BuzzFeed live video as an example – the one where they blew up a watermelon – Mevo could have cut between the faces of the experimenters, the watermelon, and any other points of interest.
There are limits, however. Since the Mevo is one physical camera that shoots wide-angle video at 150 degrees, this limits which angles you can cut to, but you can vary the visuals quite a bit.
If you don’t want to edit on the fly (or if you are in the video yourself), Mevo can automatically edit for you. It does this by sensing things like movement or who is talking. But be aware that you might not get a perfect cut.
The Mevo costs $399 and will ship in July (though if you pre-order it, you can get $100 off).
In Mevo’s previous incarnation, it required a $9 per month subscription to stream to Livestream’s platform, but for Facebook Live, it will be free. Right now, the only live-streaming platforms it works with are Facebook Live and Livestream, though Hertzberg says other partnerships are planned. You can also have Mevo function as a normal camera (not live), and upload the footage wherever you want.
As for the specs, the Mevo produces 720p video (from a 4K feed) and records audio from a built-in mic. The battery only lasts for one hour, but there is an additional accessory that adds up to 10 hours of battery life.
Hertzberg says that in pre-orders, the groups that have shown the most interest are businesses (for things like all-hands, conferences, and so on), performing artists, and people want to film their kids. But expects all sorts of different uses if it becomes popular on Facebook’s platform.
Facebook also annouced on Tuesday that it will open up its Live Video API to developers, allowing them to build the ability to broadcast live to Facebook into many devices, including drones.
Here is an example of what the Mevo can do: