Mobile video training reaches the cloud

Altus today launched vSearch Mobile, a cloud-based service that allows search of Web conferences and telepresence meetings, for example

With video from mobile devices expected to grow, a market for enterprise video applications such as training and instructional sales videos is emerging, analysts say.

Adding to the market's momentum are mobile devices with better video shooting and video calling features, such as Apple's new iPhone 4 and the latest Android devices , such as Sprint's HTC EVO 4G .

Recognizing that growth in mobile video, one small company sees a future in allowing workers to use wireless devices to search through corporate video content stored in the cloud.

Altus Learning Systems today launched vSearch Mobile, a cloud-based service that allows users to search content such as Web conferences, audio and video presentations and telepresence meetings from devices including the iPad , iPhone , BlackBerry or Android handsets.

With the service, a company would create a portal into a cloud-based repository or content, which the company's workers could search via specific search terms.

The service, available as of today, costs between $10 and $25 per user per month, depending on the type of content and amount.

Altus uses a transcription service to help transcribe all content into text, making the searches highly accurate, said Mark Pollard, chief marketing officer for Altus.

No application will be required to access the content, only a standard smartphone browser . Prior to the vSearch Mobile announcement, Altus had provided video search from desktop computers and laptops, and had only sent video to smartphones without the ability to search through the content.

With about 40 employees, Altus has been in operation for 10 years, and has about 200,000 individual customers in various companies.

Pollard said Altus is unique in allowing secure search of enterprise video from mobile devices.

"This means users are no longer tethered to a laptop to search video," Pollard said. And demand should be good because "mobile computing is busting out."

He said that a sales person, for example, could use the service to find a specific portion of a video-based presentation, or a technician could consult a video on how a product works to make a needed repair.

The advantage of being able to search is that it reduces the amount of time a worker needs to devote to reviewing video material.

Josh Bersin, an analyst at Bersin & Associates, said searchable mobile video content will be useful for sales and product training especially.

He called Altus' new mobile service a "niche" of the overall training market but added it is a fast-growing market. "There's video on every Web site now, and Altus makes it very manageable and easy to turn into searchable content, so they are in a pretty cool space," Bersin said.

Overall, Bersin estimated that video counts for between 2% and 3% of the total e-learning market. In the U.S., about $60 billion a year is spent on corporate training, of which about $17 billion is done online.

That would make video content at least $350 million of the e-learning market, according to Bersin's analysis.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is .

Read more about mobile apps and services in Computerworld's Mobile Apps and Services Topic Center.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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