I love it when apps get me excited, and Touchcast has me all sorts of excited! It’s an app full of possibilities and potential.
At its most basic level, Touchcast is like having a television studio on your iPad. Not only can it shoot video, but you can insert graphics in real-time as you’re recording. That’s huge! Typically you would shoot your video, then import the footage into your computer and use editing software to add your lower thirds, over-the-shoulders, etc., before exporting the finished movie file. Touchcast can potentially eliminate the need for post-production work, seriously speeding up workflow.
And did I mention it’s free through the iTunes store?!
At its most basic level, Touchcast is like having a television studio on your iPad. Not only can it shoot video, but you can insert graphics in real-time as you’re recording. That’s huge!
But the real magic behind Touchcast is something they’re calling vApps. The graphics that you can insert during recording aren’t just still image files – they’re actually small applications that live inside the video, which means they can pull live data from the web and not only display it, but even allow the viewer to interact with it.
So imagine…, I’m talking about North Haven News and up pops a graphic showing my LIVE Twitter feed. The viewer can even tap on that graphic and scroll through my feed – all while the video is still playing! At the same time, I could have a scrolling ticker across the bottom of my screen showing the latest news headlines.
Or perhaps I’m referencing a website and I show an image of the homepage over my shoulder. The viewer could tap on the graphic and actually visit the webpage if they so choose – again, all while the video of me is still playing in the background.
Currently there are vApps for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, stocks, quotes, tickers, maps, photo galleries, polls, web pages and a few others, but Touchcast is an open platform, allowing any HTML developer to build something.
In addition to vApps, the app includes video filter effects, green screen capabilities, whiteboard and telestration tools, and even a teleprompter. Touchcast also comes with several pre-formatted themes to get you up-and-shooting quickly.
The app isn’t without it’s limitations, however. There is currently no way to embed a video player that includes the interactivity on your own website. To retain those capabilities you have to link to your video on the Touchcast website. You can, however, embed a non-interactive version outside of Touchcast, and although this really takes away from the magic, it still lets you create a pretty impressive, albeit non-interactive clip.
The app could also benefit from a companion iPhone app that would allow one-man-bands the ability to advance through their vApps while they’re recording, similar to a clicker that lets you advance to your next Keynote or Powerpoint slide. Currently, you need a 2nd person operating the iPad to trigger the next graphic, or you can awkwardly tap the screen and trigger them yourself.
You’ll be happy to know that I have spoken to tech support at Touchcast, and they’re working on a solution for both of these as we speak. 🙂