Vine without the time limit: Meet new video app Manything

What is Manything?

Manything is a simple free app that turns iOS devices into sophisticated video monitoring cameras. All the video is streamed to the Manything site where you can review your recordings and track spikes of sound and movement. You can also watch your live Manything feeds on the go from most smartphones.

There are lots of players in the video and streaming space, why are you different?

Manything is a completely new category of service – in the app world it's the first of its kind to enable unlimited amounts of video streaming and recording from iOS devices. Viddy, Vine etc are all about making short clips lasting a few seconds, which is great if you want to record something happening while you're there. Manything, on the other hand, can run for weeks on end and patiently sits through all the boring stuff so that it can be there for you when something exciting happens while you're out.

In the existing video monitoring space, Manything is the first service that provides an instant solution for someone who needs a video monitoring solution but doesn't have the time and/or cash to order a home security system and wait for it to arrive. Manything is also packed with features and fail-safes that are out of reach to most consumer and small business CCTV systems – motion and sound detection, battery backup if power fails, cellular streaming if WiFi fails, automatic switching to stills if Internet bandwidth deteriorates, clip editing, and sound activated flash.

What is Manything being used for?

A surprising number of people are using Manything to see which cats come into their house when they're not in; small business users are using it to bring video monitoring to their retail spaces in an affordable and hassle free way; and even our local wildlife park rangers are using it to monitor animals with their young that they can't get close to. One of our founders uses his old iPhone 3Gs (with a broken screen) to watch a temperature gauge on his wood fired central heating boiler! Our users are telling us about new applications every day.

Are you expecting people to dedicate their precious smartphones to video monitoring? How is that going to work?

You're right that it's a big mental step to 'get' Manything. When people see a smartphone, we see an amazingly sophisticated monitoring device packed with sensors, cameras, radios, a simple touch screen, and a battery.

Our business is based on the fact that even though lots of people won't want to leave their expensive phone lying around, the number of people with old smartphones lying around is still a very large number and growing:

  • We estimate that there are already over two hundred million 'retired' smartphones out there
  • Smartphones are being replaced every two to three years so this number will grow dramatically
  • Apple's pensioning off of the 3GS with iOS 7 will increase the flow of old phones available for re-use
  • A second hand 3GS will probably be worth under £30 by the end of the year

How does Manything work with social media?

Everything you record on Manything goes straight to our website where you can review your footage and create edited clips to share in seconds without downloading any video editing software or large unwieldy video files.

How are you expecting to develop over the next 5 years/ what's the future vision?

To date the traditional CCTV industry has ignored the consumer as a market and only used incredibly expensive and relatively dumb cameras. By using smart devices to provide instantaneous and sophisticated video monitoring solutions to consumers and small businesses we think we can make a real breakthrough.

The app is free - what's the business model?

Our product is unique but the business model is similar to Dropbox. While we're in beta all users get unlimited storage, but when we come out of beta there'll be a free service for light users and a paid service for people wanting to record for longer.

What devices can you run on at the moment?

At the moment we can run on iPhone 3GS and up, iPod touch 4th or 5th generation, all iPads from 2 onwards. There's no limit on how many devices you can have on your account.

What about Android?

We're working on it. We see it as very important because all sorts of major smart devices run Android..

Who's behind Manything?

The brains behind Manything – Mike Fischer, Tim Pearson, James West and Dan Germain – have all founded or run successful businesses. Mike Fischer was co-founder and first CEO of RM plc – a publicly listed company and leading supplier of ICT to schools and colleges, where Tim Pearson was also CEO for 7 years. Tim and Mike both sit on the board of Alamy, the world's largest stock photo collection. Alamy's CEO, James West, a self confessed geek with an eye for future technologies, is also a co-founder of Manything along with Dan Germain Head of Creative at Innocent Drinks, a Coca Cola company.