Bitcentral unveiled Air Now, a backpack-based digital news gathering system weighing less than 10lbs, which will let a reporter transmit live reports via EvDO wireless channels from the field.
The product, according to the company’s Ken Lee, is like an ENG truck in a backpack. It consists of a laptop computer loaded with special encoding software, a cellular transmitting box and a battery that will power the unit for 2.5 hours. Air Now streams a live Windows Media 9 stream via an EvDO cellular network connection to an IP address at a TV station or elsewhere. According to Lee, the system produces useable results at data rates as low as 280kb/s.
I happened to be visiting Bitcentral when Andrew Lombard, chief engineer of McGraw Hill-owned KGTV in San Diego, was wrapping up a visit. Lombard said he was impressed with the performance of Air Now, and “looking down the road” could envision equipping journalists in San Diego and at the company’s Indianapolis station with the product. Lombard added he would help the company in its continued development of Air Now.
Listen to an audio clip from Ken Lee.