Tell me a bit more about what Africam is?
Did you know that only 0.5% of the world’s population will ever be able to experience the unique feeling of going on a safari and seeing the animals in their natural habitat? Africam wants to bring this experience to anyone with an internet connection – this was the original motivation.
In a nutshell, South African startup ‘Africam’ is a media company that live streams HD footage from waterholes from various locations in Africa. The free streams are aimed at connecting people from around the world to African wildlife and create an online community focused on education and conservation.
Described as a ‘sensory experience’, viewers can see and hear the Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Cheetah, Rhino) and many other rare animals in their natural habitat, live and unscripted. To bring this platform to life. Africam has a large community of camera operators from around the world who “move and zoom” the cameras and monitor the system.
We also have a real-time alert function that pushes alerts to email and social media. Each sighting is recorded and sighting photos are distributed via a Daily Email to their users. In addition to the live streams, they have an iOS app where we can send alerts based on user preference selection.
Today the Africam portal is underpinned by Amazon Web Services Cloud. AWS offers benefits around cost, scalability and security. AWS allows us to scale with the confidence that all the “moving parts” are scaling with us within the AWS / Elemental ecosystem.
You mentioned that Africam is underpinned by AWS cloud. Why did you choose AWS?
AWS cloud allows us to get our live streams into the AWS Eco-system close to source – this ensures that we can stream in Full HD to any person in the world. Also, with AWS’s large global footprint– we feel confident that we are getting the best value for our service and that AWS will always be at the forefront of new solutions.
AWS is not just a tech partner, but opens up more opportunities that were never there before. In future, we will deploy AWS AI solutions that can identify the animals on the cameras to help track their movements and predict the most effective patrol routes for the anti-poaching units.AI and machine learning could even send out automated alerts to the community and move the cameras. AI can also enrich the user experience by identifying the exact animal and supplying recorded videos of that same animal.
What is next on the cards for Africam?
In terms of next steps, Africam will be gathering lots of data and security and encryption will play a big role in keeping it safe from poachers and other parties.
Africam would like to become a platform to tell the stories of NGOs on the ground and raise funds for them. We will achieve this by getting as many people as possible to make the emotional connection to the animals and show them how they can make a difference.