It’s generally not the greatest endorsement when a product you announce gets mistaken for an April Fool’s Joke.
This is, however, exactly what I thought when I set eyes upon the intriguing EE 4GEE Action Cam.
Firstly, before we continue, the EE branding department need to realise that putting an extraneous “EE” on the end of “4G” makes no difference to the overall presentation or pronunciation and actually just makes the “4G” brand look a little weird.
Secondly, they released this video recently with quite a bit of fan fare on the EE homepage.
What is this? Is EE trying to make some kind of Periscope/GoPro hybrid?
Yes they are. That’s it really.
This product isn’t particularly new, or special. It’s just odd and extraneous.
If I wanted to live stream things from difficult locations, I would simply apply an Otterbox to my iPhone and start up Periscope through Twitter, not pay £10 a month for the privilege of streaming video through a platform no-one has ever heard of.
It’s an odd product for a mobile network to launch, but it’s even more odd when you actually pay attention to the video they’re flaunting about it.
For the first section of the video, some cyclists are riding through a forest. “Cool!”, “Rad!” I hear you cry. Yeah, well it would be if they had 4G”EE” connections in the great and rural outdoors. I’m lucky to get one bar of GPRS at a friend’s house which is literally a ten minute drive down country roads from my house which has 3 bars of 4G”EE”. I highly doubt in practice that this would work, even if it did, it would be choppy and annoying to watch.
At 20 seconds a woman picks up a tablet and watches her friends stream a bike ride through a forest. Why on earth anyone would ever do this I have literally no idea.
30 seconds: EE attempt to pull heart strings by showing parents enjoying the first steps of their child and live streaming it for their parents to watch in a park (side note, in all EE videos no-one can ever just watch Netflix or any streaming video at home where there’s a charger nearby, you always have to be on a bus where watching iPlayer would make you feel sick). This is bizarre. If I have a “precious moment” to share with my family, I’ll call them using FaceTime or Skype (over 4G”EE” if absolutely necessary). I’m not just going to turn on an app in the vague hope that my family might hear one notification buzzing in their pocket, rather than a consistent ring.
45 seconds: the product was lost on me when I realised that idiots everywhere could use it to boast about how much better they are at running than me.
But still, the video continues, at 1:04 we are shown how you can celebrate with your friends. With no feedback from the viewer (something Periscope does very well, allowing interaction the way it does), it would be a fairly one sided conversation before we all got pretty bored and turned the thing off. The guy also seems pretty pleased that he’s being bothered while working late by a notification coming through of his friends showing him how much they’re drinking. WHAT FUN.
Finally, at 1:16, a woman watches a smug idiot dismount his bike because she had no idea that he was approaching until she opened the app to see whereabouts he was from “his view”. Heaven forbid she’d look above her mobile screen.