HTC is making its periscope-shaped Re camera a whole lot more functional with a software update that lets users live stream footage via YouTube. The camera’s Android app will receive the update on January 9th, with iOS users having to wait until some time in the first quarter. Owners of the $199 Re will then be able to sign in to YouTube via the camera's app and share links to private or public steams through the usual means — social networks, texts, or email.
Live streaming gives the re a real advantage over its competitors
Unfortunately this doesn't mean that the Re can be used as a remote camera (it needs to be connected to a smartphone to transmit the footage), but it gives the device a real advantage in the casual end of the action camera market. During The Verge's hands-on with the Re, we criticized the camera's picture and video quality, but praised its ergonomic design and capacity for "run-and-gun" filming — something that becomes even more effective with integrated live streaming.
Although the Re's main competitor, the GoPro, can also live stream footage, the process isn't as simple or as cheap. The easiest way is to send footage to third-party site Livestream.com using its iOS-only app, and even then, only the newer, more expensive GoPro models have the requisite Wi-Fi capability. (Older cameras have to be converted with a $79.99 adaptor.) And at the cheaper end of the action camera market, devices like the $99 Polaroid Cube don't offer live streaming at all. If HTC can implement this feature well, it could make the Re a genuinely useful camera — something hardy and portable that can be taken on vacation or to a protest, ready to beam back footage at a moment's notice.