Great White Sharks are the Best Side Project Inspiration

You know those absolutely insane video clips of great white sharks breaching into the air while eating poor defenseless seals? The cameras used to film them were capturing so many frames per second that they couldn’t keep all the data on the boat or stream it anywhere else fast enough, so they constantly buffered the past few seconds and dumped the rest of the footage.


Food Chain: Great White > Seal > Buster

Whenever the Planet Earth cameraman saw a shark jump, he’d run over and slam his hand down on (what I picture to be) a big red button w/ the word “SHARK!" painted on it, and the last few seconds would slowly be saved permanently somewhere in the hope that they captured a gorgeous clip.

The Planet Earth team edited their shots live and dumped all the boring stuff by waiting for something exciting to happen before recording any footage.

That was the inspiration for the side project Jason and I just launched, an iPhone app that constantly saves the past few seconds of video so you can wait for something exciting to happen before you hit record without worrying about missing something.

While an iPhone doesn’t have the same data restrictions the Planet Earth team had to deal with, the app has been great for capturing the best plays at Rebecca’s volleyball games. Highlight reels without any editing.

Our initial batch of users have been experimenting in ways we never thought of (filming lightning…never would’ve guessed), and it’s always a huge learning experience to launch something new. Plus, Jason and I wanted to learn more about mobile dev, and Precorder was a great way to get our hands a little dirty.

1/15/11 — 4:29pm Permalink