Israeli-based software house Geo Interactive Media Group is hoping to take the video streaming market by storm with the release of a new line of Java-based development tools for putting interactive multimedia content on the web. Emblaze Creator is being billed as the world’s first Internet-specific multimedia authoring tool. The company claims Creator and its two other products, Emblaze Video and Emblaze Audio, offer radical improvements in compression rates and can be used by anyone with a Java-enabled browser. Ziv Eliraz, senior manager for business development at Geo, boasts that the proprietary algorithms used in its new products enable video compression of 200 to 1 and audio compression of 50 to 1. Geo says the audio streaming applet is around 10Kb in size and the video streaming applet 50Kb. It claims the new offerings will enable users to provide streamed media at much lower bandwidth and will reduce costs. Unlike rival offerings from Microsoft Corp and Progressive Networks with its RealAudio and RealVideo products, Eliraz says Geo’s products operate without the need for plug-ins or server software. Geo is currently working on several new products: Webcharge, an image streaming product which, it says, will compress JPEG files 400% more efficiently and Hotspot; a Java-based tool for creating menus and rollovers on web sites. Also forthcoming is a new email application, designed to enable users to embed multimedia content in their mail and compress it more efficiently. Geo Interactive Media Group Ltd was formed back in 1994 by a group of technicians from the high technology unit of the Israeli army and first previewed the Emblaze software back in February 1996 (CI 2,856). The firm floated on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market back in October 1996, an offering that valued the company at around $160m and raised $20m. The firm claims its Emblaze line has had sales of $750,000 with a further $250,000 in advance orders since it was released last month. Emblaze Creator is available now at a one off price of $995. Emblaze Video and Emblaze Audio are sold on the same basis each priced at $295. The authoring tools run on Windows 95, Windows NT, and Macintosh OS and the players on any Java enabled browser. Emblaze Hotspot, Emblaze Webcharge and Emblaze email will be available later this quarter priced at around $100 each.
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