Qik combines a mobile client and online service to allow you to stream live video from your phone camera to the Internet. This might sound so advanced as to be ridiculously complicated, but the truth is, it's very easy to use Qik. So much so, in fact, that celebrities such as Demi Moore have starting using the app to show fans what they're up to.
When you launch Qik for the first time, you have to sign up for the service by entering a few simple details such as a username, email address and password. An account will be created and you'll be signed into the service straight away. Qik will then activate your phone's camera and display what the lens is pointing at in the main window. You then just need to hit the record button and the live video, including sound, of what you're filming will be streamed via http://quick.com/yourusername.
Qik includes a number of ways in which you can share your video with the World. The program contains shortcuts to share via text message, email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Brightcove.
People who go to view your streaming video in their browser will be able to view details of your location, based on your GPS location (you can disable this), and they will also be able to exchange messages with you and other viewers using the in-built chat feature. The number of people viewing your video is displayed in the browser window and on the client itself.
The Qik project is an ambitious and exciting one and once the technology really gets off the ground, the scope of its uses for entertainment, communication, and education will be huge. At present, Qik is a little rough around the edges though. The applications is laggy and often unresponsive, and viewing the streams online is sometimes a tiresome process as videos rarely play seamlessly and lots of buffering is involved. What's more, the video is never 'live' because a delay constantly builds up while it streams over the Qik servers.
Qik is free and well worth downloading if only to be early adopter of what will surely become a massive phenomenon.