Over the past few years a consortium funded by TIA (Technology Innovation Agency) consisting of CSIR South Africa, University of Cape Town and East Coast Access developed specialized technology known as ARTIST that allows streaming video to be viewed on mobile devices, in low bandwidth or congested environments. The consortium approached Pierre van der Hoven, a media expert, to commercialize the technology and a new company called Tuluntulu (meaning “stream” in Zulu) was recently launched.
Research indicates that globally online video usage has exploded. But this is not the case in Africa, as it simply does not work. From a technology perspective, this is because current competing technologies do not perform well in low rate Internet infrastructures between 30kbps – 300kbps and, more particularly, where the throughput rate is rapidly varying within this range from one second to the next (as is common in all mobile cellular networks). The ARTIST technology provides a solution to this problem. It utilises patented technology to deliver unbroken standards-based live video streams with fully integrated social media interactivity. The solution covers the entire media value chain from video content ingestion to a fully adaptive and scalable service and mobile device applications.
The key competitive features of the ARTIST platform are:
- Operation in developing countries on low rate Internet infrastructures down to +/- 30kbps.
- Seamless and smooth video delivery adapting to varying throughput rates for each individual connected user without disruption (no re-buffering, fast start up, etc.) to the viewed stream.
- Messaging engine is built into the core of the technology to reduce the cost of entry where the adverts/branding/messages are integrated into the video space (non-invasive) such that ‘URL stealing’ and syndication of content remains revenue generating.
- Massively scalable architecture for large numbers of simultaneous viewers even with individual adapting video streaming.
- Full service provider control over user access, video channel access and total service throughput limit (deterministic cost). Full viewing and advert/messaging statistic reporting.
The technology is perfectly suited for the South African and African environment. Basically watching video content on mobile phones and tablets without breakup is now a reality. Users can use existing devices – Android smart phones and / or tablets – and existing cell phone networks. The technology works on 3G and EDGE (low bandwidth), which is the dominant system used in rural areas in South Africa, Africa and other developing countries.
Tuluntulu is currently working on a number of projects in Health and Education. Audio visual communication overcomes barriers such as illiteracy or language. The system is ideal for rural education and communication and as can have a significant impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans.
For broadcasters and content owners, using the Tuluntulu technology can significantly increase the reach and penetration of the content, as it can now be received on mobile devices – both in South Africa, in the rest of Africa and globally. Problematic issues such as file download (YouTube) and / or copyright issues are not a problem as the content is streamed. The system can be self funding via advertising and does not require a broadcasting license.
- Tuluntulu (Pty) Ltd
- Pierre van der Hoven
- Mobile: + 27 (0) 83 632 3296
- Email: pierre”at”tuluntulu.com or pierrevdhoven”at”gmail.com