Meet Detail, a new startup working on an app for iOS and macOS so that you can turn your iPhone into a software-optimized camera for live video. The startup wants to make it easy to use the phone that you have in your pocket with the live-streaming platform that you already use, such as Zoom, Google Meet, Twitch, Hopin or YouTube Live.
Over the past year, if you have had to present something to a large audience over a live stream, chances are you’ve faced a few challenges. First, as Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal demonstrated, laptop webcams suck. There’s no way you’re going to look good with your computer.
Second, if you’re willing to invest some money, you can buy a ring light, a dedicated camera, a good microphone, etc. The issue is that it’s expensive. More importantly, it’s been really hard to buy some of this stuff as many remote workers have been looking for those devices.
Third, you might be good at teaching something, but not good at video production. Those are different skills and somehow people are telling you that you should know everything about white balance, anti-flickering and more.
As for Detail, the company wants to make it as easy as possible to go from zero to live stream. The best camera that you have is most likely the one in your pocket, attached to your smartphone. For the past few years, computational photography had led to tremendous improvements when it comes to taking photos with your phone. But there’s still some work to do on the live-streaming front.
Detail founder Paul Veugen rightly points out that hosting a live video has become a commodity. But everything that happens before you send the video feed over the internet could be improved.
At first Detail is going to be an iPhone and Mac app that work hand in hand like Camo and EpocCam. There are going to be some easy-to-use settings to tweak color grades, add filters, etc. It’s going to be a more opinionated take on the smartphone-as-a-webcam movement.
Behind the scenes, the team is composed of some of the people that worked on Human, an app I started covering way back in 2013. Human was a passive fitness tracking app — you could set it up and get insights about how active you’ve been over the past few days. Essentially, it was like Apple’s activity rings before Apple introduced the Apple Watch. Human was acquired by Mapbox in 2016.
Detail raised a $2 million pre-seed round led by Connect Ventures. Hustle Fund, Alexander Ljung, Anke Huiskes, Arthur Kosten, Elodie & Tony Jamous, Hiten Shah, Janis Krums, Mart Kelder, Micha Hernandez van Leuffen, Othman Laraki, Omri Amir and Sten Tamkivi are also participating in the round.
As you can see, Detail is still in active development and the beta test is going to start soon. But it’s an intriguing app and I’m going to keep an eye on it to see how it pans out.