From video codecs to interactive live streaming: German company nanocosmos turns 25 and continues to set the stage for innovation
nanocosmos GmbH, Berlin-based live streaming provider, has reached the 25-year mark with a history that mirrors the continuous demand for the ever-changing video and live streaming technology. Since its incorporation in 1998 by Oliver Lietz and Werner Hamann, nanocosmos has been at the forefront of developing user-friendly and reliable software-based video solutions, consistently setting the stage for innovation. During the first wave of start-ups, when digital video technology was in its early stages and far from being commercialized at a global scale, they were ahead of their time by offering unique software for video processing and compression for multimedia applications.
A media start-up award for their innovative technology marks the beginning of a successful journey as it included a free exhibition at the world’s largest IT show CEBIT in 1999 where the founders connected with international business partners and initial customers for licensed software products.
nanocosmos’ commitment to continuous growth without venture capital has led to its evolution into a leading B2B real-time live video streaming provider with a global presence. Over the past 25 years, nanocosmos has weathered paradigm shifts in the audio/video and streaming industry, continuously adapting and innovating to meet the changing demands of the market.
While studio production and video compression determined the focus of the early 2000s, nanocosmos’ real time video processing created an immediate impact in the OEM and B2C industry, working with leading international brands like Hauppauge and Roxio, RTL and NBC Universal for real time video encoding for consumer products like WinTV and Toast.
nanocosmos’ innovations, overcame big technical limitations of their time, which culminated in several notable projects:
Still in the 90s, multidisciplinary projects like the interactive art exhibition „triennale der photographie” in Hamburg’s Deichtorhallen enabled visitors with screens mounted to backpacks to make their live views available to others over emerging WiFi networks.
Throughout the 2000s, nanocosmos collaborated closely with scientific pioneers like Zeiss and Fraunhofer Institute, pushing the boundaries of playout for a full 360 dome cinema in large planetaries. The company also spearheaded live streaming solutions on mobile devices before the advent of iOS and Android, solidifying its position as an industry innovator. In 2010, the renowned International Film Festival in Berlin (Berlinale) recognized nanocosmos’ contributions by adopting their reliable playback solution as the standard for all participating theaters.
The rise of mobile devices in the late 2000s provided nanocosmos with new opportunities. The company licensed their mobile SDKs and apps for iPhone and Android devices and worked with clients like NBC Universal to enable mobile based live video streaming for citizen journalists, or adding live video feeds from drones into rescue missions.
Eventually, nanocosmos’ groundbreaking invention, the “H5Live” live streaming format, revolutionized the industry by delivering ultra-low latency playback on any browser and device. This innovation laid the foundation for the globally acclaimed nanoStream Cloud, nanocosmos’ flagship product.
Bringing new technologies to a globally running live streaming cloud platform with a worldwide content delivery network was the next step. Especially since compatibility with all devices, including iOS and browser-based access have become critical requirements to reach anyone anywhere, the award winning cloud solution has drawn attention from companies across many industries to engage their audiences. To the realm of applicable scenarios belong e.g. large town-hall meetings, interactive conferences and hybrid events, live auctions or live games that require interactive live streaming – live streaming with such little latency that smooth interaction is possible.
Founder Oliver Lietz and managing partner Chris Strijbosch, who joined the company in 2013, reflect on the past decade as the most successful in nanocosmos’ history. Both agree that their agile approach and close collaboration with clients have been instrumental in achieving this success. In terms of the industry, Oliver Lietz states: “Interactive use cases create applications and opportunities that differ from regular live streaming for “lean back” scenarios”. He states that the requirements for interactive live streaming will continue to evolve, necessitating tailored solutions for each use case. Creating a whole infrastructure including a global network (CDN), player software running on all browsers, and additional tools like Analytics and Security protection, was a high risk effort for the company, but has proven to be the right decision to address current requirements for quality of service. Lietz: “We at nanocosmos will continue to be part of this landscape as a reliable partner with a strong R&D background to drive innovations and to hold our strong position with a client focussed approach. This allows us to customize our interactive streaming solution according to the need of each use case.”
At the International Broadcast Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam on September 15-18, booth 5.A63, nanocosmos will exhibit nanoStream Cloud 2023 with new features like improved start-up time, global CDN enhancements, AI-powered live captioning and more. Next stop will be SBC Barcelona, September 19-21, where the team will demonstrate the ultra-low latency live streaming platform and API, that comes with real-time player, global Content Delivery Network, Webcaster, 24/7 support, analytics and stream security at booth SB74.
Under the title “ThrowbackTime” nanocosmos will be sharing short videos with interviews, insights and anecdotes about the company’s history throughout September, showcasing its remarkable journey.
For more information about nanocosmos and its live streaming solutions, please visit: https://info.nanocosmos.de/ .
nanocosmos is a Berlin-based company with 25 years of experience in the audio/video industry. The flagship product nanoStream Cloud is an industry reference for reliable B2B interactive live streaming on any device. With pioneering advancements and milestones like ultra-low latency live streaming on any device and browser, with adaptive bitrate playback, stream protection and data driven live streaming, nanocosmos continues to hold its strong position in multiple market segments for interactive live streaming.