I popped along to the Flip Video launch this evening (Recent Coverage). It was held at the rather smart Soho House Hotel — they’ve got a little cinema there which is where Ray Sangster, President of Flip EMEA, welcomed everyone and presided over the launch.
The event was very well attended with media from all over the marketplace. Having admired the Flip device from afar, then having played with it recently, I’m really excited to see it formally launch in the UK.
Strictly speaking, it shouldn’t exist. There shouldn’t be a market for it. The mobile manufacturers should have sorted this one out, years ago. With almost every new handset coming with some kind of reasonably ‘ok’ video function nowadays (in the UK, at least), the Flip, as an invention, shouldn’t have seen the light of day.
We have the technology already to create good mobile videos on our handsets. We have the technology to transmit them to friends online and via mobile.
Just, the method absolutely, 100% sucks. Mobile video is shite. There’s a glimmer of light in the form of the likes of QIK and Flixwagon, but, for the masses, mobile video spectacularly under delivered. Great concept, useless implementation.
You can’t blame Nokia per se. You can’t necessarily blame mobile operators, either, for wanting to limit the transmission capabilities of devices (can you imagine a mobile phone with a USB stick integrated, like the way it is in the Flip? Exactly. No.)
I recognise all the reasons why mobile video hasn’t quite worked.
And I’m delighted to see The Flip being swallowed up by the great unwashed. Absolutely delighted. I’m frankly surprised at how The Flip came along and ate everybody’s lunch.
“Surely it won’t be long,” I asked Ray Sangster, Flip EMEA President, “Before there’s wifi integrated directly into one of these?”
Ray grinned momentarily and diplomatically responded with a “Couldn’t possibly comment” viewpoint.
I’m pretty sure they’ll be bringing along something like that. It’s the next natural step, right? And at that point, dear me, it’s just shocking to behold how screwed the mobile industry’s ‘video’ strategy is at this point.
I wonder if there’ll be an option to stream my video on QIK via a Flip? Meantime, these things are flying off the shelves. It’s the number one selling product in the camcorder segment on Amazon.co.uk (which, by the way, is offering a 5% discount):
But they’re going big with it here in the UK. Toys R US, Dixons/Currys and a whole host more. Within a little while, I reckon The Flip will quickly become one of the biggest selling digital camcorders in the country. The key is the simplicity. Press the red button and woosh, you’re recording. Stick it in your USB port and press the ‘upload to Youtube’ button. Done. Or, if you like, you can use the TV out port and, woosh, see yourself and Granny on the TV in her living room. Leave your Flip with granny at your own peril… you’ll be watching videos of the cat for hours.