With the pandemic forcing millions to isolate, entertainment has been a rare solace. But is community viewing possible from the comfort of your home? That’s where Hearo.Live is looking to help out viewers.
As services such as Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party) gain popularity, they still haven’t looked at an important aspect of co-watching; voice communication.
There’s also the issue of device compatibility. Hearo.live describes itself as “the world’s first desktop and mobile co-watching party app”.
How did the idea come about?
Founder and CEO Edward Lerner is a former Sony and Sims gaming executive with vast experience in the gaming industry.
Inspired by the multiplayer aspect of gaming where multiple players can easily communicate via voice, Lerner sought to translate that into viewing.
After raising $581,621 (figure at the time of writing) through equity crowdfunding from republic.co, with 1500 investors, the app made its official launch on December 17. The fundraising closes on January 17, 2021.
How does Hearo.Live work?
To create an account, you need to register through your email. After choosing a username, you can add other users.
The interface gives you the option of inviting other users to join your party or join another party. The party leader can then choose from a variety of supported platforms.
The party leader has full control over pausing and playing the video. You can also choose to keep the party public or private.
Which platforms does Hearo.Live support?
The app provides cross-platform support for iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows. Apart from video streaming services such as YouTube and Twitch, subscribers can also watch premium streaming on Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video.
Hearo also allows viewers to watch cable TV for live broadcasts on ESPN, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, ABC, CBS, and TNT.
What do Lerner and others have to say?
“Hearo users love to watch YouTube on their phones together,” says Lerner, while adding that for other content — movies, football, and TV — they prefer a bigger screen.
“Our connected devices are disconnecting us, and we are feeling more isolated than ever. Games connect us, but even the 2 billion gamers aren’t always gaming together. Hearo.Live connects us at a time when we need it most.
“With just a tap, you can talk and watch with your family and friends anywhere, just like gamers talk and play.”
Ed Fries, former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft, said that Hearo.live hasn’t been designed for just the pandemic. He views it as a trend that will shape the future of TV and streaming.
Also Read: 5 easy ways to watch Netflix on your TV