Today, I am so excited to tell you about the new Amazon Interactive Video Service, which allows you to add live video directly into your own apps and websites. If you are anything like me, you are going to be blown away by how simple the team have made it to integrate interactive, low latency, live video into an application.
The service enables you to create a channel using either the Amazon Interactive Video Service (IVS) Console or the API. You can then use any standard streaming software to stream video to this channel, and the service does everything required to make the live video available to any viewer around the world. The service includes a player SDK that make it straightforward to get the live video integrated into your web, iOS, or Android project.
I think I would be impressed by this service if its capabilities stopped there, but the team have really gone the extra mile and added two key features that I think make this service unique.
Firstly, the video is low latency, which means that the time between you broadcasting and the time the video shows up on your viewer’s screens can be as low as 2-3 seconds. Low latency is vital because this service aims to help you build interactive realtime applications, and this is only possible if there is a minimal delay.
Secondly, the team have added the ability to send timed metadata along with the video so that you can fire events in your application at crucial points in the live stream. So for example, you could send an event to say that a live poll is open, and your app could respond and allow viewers to vote in the poll alongside the live video.
The combination of these two features means that you can build experiences that create a more valuable relationship with your viewers on your own websites and applications. For example, if you were live-streaming a product launch, you could synchronize additional product information to be displayed as new products appear in the video. You could even show a buy now button that allows viewers to purchase the exact product they are watching at that moment on the live-stream.
Over the last few months, I have been running live quizzes on Twitch.tv, and this new service got me thinking that I could build a more personalized and integrated version directly on my website. Let me show you how you would create something like this by heading over to the Amazon IVS Console and creating a channel.