Based in Dublin, Perfogram is on a mission to change the livestreaming experience with more interaction and almost no latency.
Imagine if the next time you tune in to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on your TV, you can play the game with thousands of others and win rewards instead of being a passive viewer.
That’s exactly the kind of futuristic idea that Perfogram is working towards realising.
Founded by AI and video intelligence researchers and based in Dublin, Perfogram is building the next generation of video streaming technology that will enable millions to watch the same livestream with ultra-low latency and advanced interactive features that make viewers part of the experience.
“We believe that all media will become interactive in the future,” said Rami Albatal, co-founder of Perfogram.
“Devices are all connected to the internet now, including TVs, and they all can be interactive. The most challenging part of the technology is how to serve interactive elements synchronised with very precise moments of a stream, in a secure and scalable way.”
Rewarding consumers and businesses alike
While livestreaming is becoming increasingly popular, the problem with most livestreams today is that there exists a trade-off between latency and the number of people who can tune in at the same time.
Services such as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams offer low levels of latency (the livestream time difference between the content creator and consumer) but lack the scalability of livestreams on other platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo or TikTok.
Perfogram wants to marry large audience capabilities, such as in cable TV, with the ultra-low latency of most video calling services to create patented technology that offers people and businesses an enhanced livestreaming experience.
What’s more, Albatal believes Perfogram can even increase a viewer’s attention span through the incentive of interaction and rewards, as well as bring in more revenue for individuals and businesses livestreaming.
“Ubiquitous interactivity will enhance the user’s attention and engagement, and connecting it with rewards will bring the viewer’s engagements and interest to a different level,” explained Albatal, who has previously been chief data scientist at several start-ups in Ireland and the US.
“This is at the core of the attention economy, which not only leads to better sales and advertising revenues for broadcasters, but also creates a more participatory economy through rewarding viewers for their interaction and attention.”
This means those livestreaming will be able to sell a product directly by showing shoppable banners on the screen, for example, all while those watching get to play an active part of the stream.
Creating a truly interactive livestreaming experience
Perfogram’s journey began when Albatal first met co-founder Zaher Hinbarji while mentoring his PhD project at Dublin City University way back in 2013. At the time, Zaher’s brother Moohamad was in charge of mobile gaming company Tasali.
Perfogram was founded in 2020. The company has built and manages AraTok.com, which offers interactive streaming for entertainment and education. Initially started in the MENA region, it quickly reached Europe, and is currently expanding to Japan and the US.
As of last year, AraTok.com had more than 235,677 unique users. Some of the organisations that use the product include DCU, The Hague Academy for Local Governance, The American University of Beirut and Vocal Power Institution.
Perfogram also launched a B2B product at the end of last year that is helping businesses use interactive streaming technologies on their websites and apps.
“This is doubly beneficial as it offers the viewers a better engagement and participatory experience and delivers control over the relationship between the broadcasters and their public,” said Albatal.
“Currently, any institution or business which is seeking to do live streaming have to use third party streaming platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, which own the audience and give the broadcaster a very limited way to communicate with them or customise their experience.”
Other than the three founders and two developers, Perfogram has three part-time contractors for customer support. The start-up is looking to raise seed funding to grow the business and invest in marketing and sales.
“Our ultimate goal is to shift the broadcast and streaming industry to a truly interactive space – one that yields better revenue and is more democratic, inclusive and fair for viewers,” Albatal added.
10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.