Toronto-based Snapwise Inc. is launching a pilot program with Atlanta-based cable and satellite network The Weather Channel to use Snapwise’s uCiC app platform to source weather videos and photos from viewers across the United States.
The Weather Channel and its affiliated services, including The Weather Channel HD, The Weather Channel On Demand, Weatherscan and Local Now, will add uCiC to its existing set of viewer engagement tools by asking people to submit videos showing how they are affected by severe weather.
“The human element matters,” said Snapwise co-founder and CEO Harleeen Kaur. “Empowering The Weather Channel’s large and active audience with the ability to send in videos will generate a rich set of content for both the network and uCiC.”
Earlier this year, uCiC (“You see, I see”) was selected to participate in Techstars Atlanta, where it was one of 10 companies selected for the program from an applicant pool from 69 countries and six continents.
Last year, uCiC took top prize at the Mobile App Showdown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
“As one of the judges for Mobile Apps Showdown, I was more than impressed with not just the concept of uCiC, but the execution of it – including the intuitive user-interface, speed and feature set of the app,” said syndicated technology columnist, author and speaker Marc Saltzman. “Leveraging the entire mobile population – and not just your social media circles – uCiC has the ability to effectively and quickly pair those looking for visual information with those willing to share it.”
uCiC began life as an app that allows users to “reach out” to fellow users anywhere in the world and ask a question or demand a favour, letting users who respond positively to the initial request bank karma points, which they can then spend when making new requests.
The app can be used to enquire about whether there’s a line-up at a particular grocery store, to verify traffic conditions, or to watch a sunset in another part of the world.
Unlike the walled gardens of social media, the uCiC app allows users to reach out to anyone with a mobile device to fulfill requests or ask favours which are then returned through a kind of karmic points system.
The app can let you return to the place where you think you left your keys, for example, without actually returning there, in the hope that someone might be able to get back to you with a picture, claiming their karma points via the app.
The current iPhone and Android uCiC app allows users to select any location and talk to another user in that location through videos, photos and instant messaging, making it easier for The Weather Network’s meteorologists to engage its viewership across the country and collect real-time videos of weather.
“Our mission is to provide Americans with accurate and comprehensive coverage of current and forecasted weather events,” said Weather Channel COO Freddy Flaxman. “With uCiC we’re now making it easier than ever for our viewers to share their story on air by sending in videos of how weather events affect their lives and their neighborhood.”