- Digital strategy
- Analytics and research
Live feeds of incredible nature
Explore asked Magnet to help build a web platform to showcase the largest live nature cam network on the planet, and help raise awareness of endangered animals and conservation causes.
Explore is the world's leading philanthropic live nature cam network and documentary film channel.
The team noticed a growing interest in live streams of animals in their native habitats, performing daily rituals like nesting and hunting, and wanted to create a social platform where fans could watch and share clips.
Our mission was to bring help this incredible content to as many people as possible, using real-time stitching and a scalable media backend system to handle the demands of real-time distributed video feeds.
The Explore brand is all about organic natural forms and colors, so the website design needed to use colors found in nature. As video content was so primary, a dark ash background was chosen to bring focus to the content.
The typefaces were chosen to be readable, friendly and universal.
The video player was built native HTML5 with Angular JS. Offline-ready and play-in-window capabilities enhanced the viewing experience. A key consideration was allow the audience to create their own clips and share them, and so a quick selection tool was created for this purpose.
A primary design consideration was discovery. Tall, rotating tiles on the homepage enticed users to view and engage with content. Online cameras would show a rotating gif of the last 10 seconds of footage, automatically created and continuously synced, whereas offline would show a highlighted thumbnail selected by an admin, until streaming resumed and the automated gif could be re-activated.
The self-updating content created a sense of immediacy and movement to the page, drawing the user into the content and increasing engagement.
Our engineering strategy centered around a future-proof technology stack that included websites, microsites and a live feed stitching technology to gather live feeds of exotic and endangered animals worldwide and stitch into useable web clips in real time.
To allow people to instantaneously access raw footage live required extensive engineering of a video processing, tagging and optimizing protocol, that we then implemented within a Python app powered by the Django framework.
As video streaming at scale can be a traffic challenge, we built a load balanced infrastructure on top of a global CDN to power the backbone of the platform.
The platform was built using Django, a Python framework, and two native mobile apps were built on Android and Swift for iOS.
The solution we built successfully scaled with Explore Org's growing audience over the years, allowing a diverse global audience to watch animals in their natural habitats, in real time.
Through these efforts, Explore has continued to grow its animal-loving fanbase while advancing their mission to spread awareness and help endangered animals around the world.
"The engineers at Magnet provide outstanding development services to our non-profit foundation. Their contribution efficiently captures a range of web camera feeds of rare and exciting wildlife around the world in real time and streams it across our range of websites. We highly recommend their services."Jonathan Silvio, Explore Director
We have had the privilege of working with large and small companies from around the world, spanning education, philanthropy, travel and tourism, retail, entertainment, professional services and the sciences.