May 11, 2021
Beta2 Coming Soon!
Last week had a 2 day holiday in Thailand so we didn't get our Tuesday report out. But now it's Tuesday again and now there's news - our Second Beta Event is tentatively scheduled for Friday Night (GMT+7) June 4th! Got a "verbal" confirmation from the band and am waiting for the final confirmation this weekend so should have an official announcement in our next post. It's a Thai band - but one with universal appeal and that I've followed for several years now. Really tight amazing act and they've just finished initial recordings for their latest album. Also it will be the first performance on the "Death Star Stage" which will finally be revealed to the public. Stay tuned!
What's new for Beta 2?
Well so yeah technically we had a holiday but what are holidays when you're a startup except time to really get stuff done? :-) As you can see, that's exactly what we've been doing. Check out all the great stuff that we've completed or will soon finish since our first beta event:
First off - hopefully no more black circles! We're pretty sure that we've figured out all the issues we had with cameras disappearing (I'm looking at you Apple!) and should have a solution to prevent that from recurring.
Multiple Cameras!!! Yes - we will now have multiple camera angles so you can get up close and personal with our performers. Really looking forward to being able to show off the new stage too! This capability has several other cool expanded features planned so this is only just the beginning!
Improved audio! This is something we've been focused on since well... 2008! But now that we have a working platform and an audience of reasonable size to dig through feedback & delay challenges we're able to better dial it in and optimize it for the best experience. Last show was pretty good but had its rough moments - especially for someone who was in our "spotlight". We definitely expect a better sound this time but we'll never stop improving the experience to make the sound as much like you're in the same room as possible.
Additional Login method. Presently you have to use your Facebook account to authenticate with the BiggestFan.live platform. Our system is actually designed to support a wide number of options but there's just so many other things to do that we haven't had time to integrate each one of them in. At least one other method will be activated by time the next show comes. Will announce more details once they are confirmed.
Venue Client. This is really something for the performers but it makes a difference to everyone because this is how we MAKE A CONNECTION between the audience and performer. We project the entire audience across multiple large screens at the venue at something fairly close to life size so the band can see and hear you, the fans, as they play. Any artist will tell you that the worse thing ever is to play to a dead room. With BiggestFan LiveJam, the energy between the performers and fans is real! This improved venue client makes it even more so. We just need to come up with a better name than venue client... please send us suggestions! :-)
Peer-to-peer connection improvement. I bet you didn't know that you can setup a video chat with up to 3 of your closest (new?) friends did you? Well yes that feature was actually present for the first beta but the interface to discover it wasn't readily apparent. We're working on that. I bet you also didn't know that these friend connections are fully peer-to-peer and don't even go through our servers! This is one of the ways we make the experience seem really live and the connections real-time. Now we've improved the protocol so it uses even less bandwidth and hopefully results in even lower latencies which makes a smoother experience for you and your friends. Be sure and try it out at our next event! It's really cool!
Text Chat w/Emoji. Yes - not only can you shout out over your livecam microphone and be heard in the audience, but now you can also type your accolades so other fans and the performers can read what you have to say as well! Text chat pops up by default but can also be closed if you don't want to see it. Honestly I wasn't sure I wanted to add this capability but we already had the technology in house and it was frequently requested so we'll give it a try. Let us know what you think and whether or not we should expand the feature or kill it!
Mobile UX will be revealed for the first time at this event! Way cool! We still recommend a desktop computer (plugged directly into your router if you can!) for the best real-time experience but now mobile users will get to check out the performance with a UI customized for their platform. Alas there's one major caveat - it's only for Android for now... :-( See the next section...
What's not new for Beta 2?
Well as you might have surmised from our last report, I'm sad to say that we will not have an iOS solution in time for the second beta event. We have accelerated work on a native client, not only for iOS, but also for Android and ultimately Linux, Windows, & Mac - all with full feature parity. (Yeah our dev team is pretty incredible!) Of course it's the iOS bits that are the biggest challenge to get working but at least we'll now have the level of control we need to start introducing some of our Generation 2 low-latency protocols sooner than originally planned. There may be a partial web-based iOS solution using our new mobile UX before that happens depending on how long we think it will take to complete. Frankly we find it hard to consider selling tickets if iOS users can't participate. iPhone & iPad users take heart! We are working hard to bring you into the BiggestFan family full on!
Oh - One more thing...
Whew - that was a lot of stuff. No wonder I'm so tired just typing it much less building it. But there's this other part of our mission at the secret BiggestFan HQ in Bangkok. It's not super well known but... we're kinda into crypto. And when I say kinda... yeah - ok we're actually completely mad about crypto!! In fact we have a dedicated crypto dev team that has participated in some of the key standards and innovative implementations of systems including Bitcoin, Stellar, Ethereum, and now - better than ever - BitcoinCash! So what can this possibly have anything at all to do with real time live performances you demand?!?!? Well, it's all part of our not-terribly-secret plan to create the best business model for real-time performances on the internet ever - where artists, venues, promoters, and all the other folks who make these things happen can ACTUALLY GET PAID! Selling tickets is obvious and something we'll do once we're out of beta. But for Beta 2 we're introducing a brand new capability of TIPPING THE BAND with BitcoinCash! (We haven't told the band about this yet. Maybe it'll be a surprise!)
Yes during the next show you can show the artist some love by picking up some BitcoinCash before the show, putting it on your wallet you can download for free on your device (get the Bitcoin.com wallet from your mobile app store) and, during the show, you can hit the button to tip the band. Enter the amount (in Thai baht) you want to tip and a QR code will pop up for you to scan with your wallet. Swipe right and bam - nearly instant tip arrives into the band's account and with a transaction cost of not even a few satang! It's really cheap, fun, and easy and we all know how COVID has killed the hope of any artist from making money - but now they can thanks to you and BitcoinCash. BiggestFan's LiveJam is working on more options as fast as we can (we pay our artists) and now you too can show your appreciation and support local live music while you're enjoying the show - all live, real-time, with your friends.
We will be introducing other payment methods in the near future but this BitcoinCash capability has by far the nicest user experience we've found and doesn't have the high cost over head of credit cards or complexity of bank transfers. For Thailand, BitcoinCash already has a pretty remarkable following. Check out the Bangkok Bitcoin Cash website to learn more about places where you can spend BCH. There's even a new Thai fashion brand, Leela & Ella, that designs and makes incredible swimwear and lingerie that you can also purchase with BitcoinCash (BCH)! That's because it's my wife's company and they're using the BitcoinCash transaction platform that we developed.
It's simple, easy, and doesn't cost a fortune to transact like old Bitcoin and Ethereum tokens. You can easily pick up a few hundred baht of it to try out and don't need to worry about transaction costs. Most of all - your band will love you for sending them the best kind of love a fan can give - BitcoinCash! :-)
Stay tuned & jam on,