Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

From Kik to Clik: A Video-Sharing App That Works Without Wi-Fi

Consumers are increasingly using multiple screens to view content, and more technology is coming to market that enables users to share or control that media between screens.

Now, Kik Interactive, the company that introduced super-simple mobile messaging (and became the target of a lawsuit filed by RIM), is joining the multiscreen video party.

Kik’s new app, called Clik, allows you to view video that’s on your smartphone on a bigger connected screen.

Unlike Apple’s AirPlay, which requires users to be on a Wi-Fi network, or Movl’s apps for Samsung TVs, which in some cases require Wi-Fi, Clik uses the 3G capabilities of your phone and doesn’t require access to a special device on the receiving end — just any screen that is connected to the Internet and can run a browser.

For users concerned about the app burning up your phone data, Clik explains this by saying the app doesn’t stream the content to your TV or computer; it just instructs the browser to play video.

Once a user has downloaded the free Clik app to an iOS or Android device, he or she can navigate to through a Web browser and scan the giant QR code that appears on the home page. The Web page then becomes a video viewing platform for the videos that appear on the smartphone. The interactivity between the two is pretty seamless, with the videos starting, stopping and switching as soon as a command is received from the smartphone.

One of the initially apparent drawbacks is that is just a bare-bones host page of the video, with no command buttons on it, so you can’t start and stop the video from the browser — it has to be done through the phone.

In terms of video quality, it’s determined by the quality of the Web video and not the video as it appears on the phone.

Kik is launching Clik today, along with a software kit for developers to get cracking on different applications for the Clik platform. For now, it’s rolling out with a YouTube app. Creator Ted Livingston sees the potential for multi-user, multiscreen sharing: You’re at a party, say, and everyone’s using Clik on their phones, so they can all share and control the game, video or music playlists.

Kik’s battle with RIM over the messaging app is still continuing, though last fall Kik said it was working on a new version of its messenger that would work on RIM BlackBerry devices. Despite the legal fracas, Kik managed to nab $8 million in Series A funding last year from RRE Ventures, Spark Capital and Fred Wilson’s Union Square Ventures. Wilson and Adam Ludwin from RRE also joined Kik’s board.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work