Interactivity: Real-time is key to a wide range of user experiences

From streaming apps to the metaverse, the future of entertainment is interactive. Interactivity leads to a “lean-forward” user experience that can increase user engagement — and better engagement leads to more conversions, customer loyalty, and improved customer experience. Real-time content delivery is key to providing a fully interactive, seamless, uniform interactive experience.

WebRTC’s sub-second latency enables a variety of innovative ways to engage your audience with cutting-edge interactive experiences that aren’t possible with traditional broadcast or streaming delivery protocols with two- to three-second delays. Phenix’s patented SyncWatch™ technology further adds synchronization to its content delivery, ensuring users are watching the same content at the same time.

This article describes popular examples of low latency video streaming with a focus on customer engagement: Celebrity Connect, Auctions & Live Commerce, Virtual Couch, Trivia, Multi-Angle, and Micro-Wagering.

While other WebRTC-based solutions can bring interactive experiences to a small number of users, Phenix has proven its ability to bring these experiences to large audiences, such as 500,000+ concurrent viewers for the Cheltenham Festival in 2021.

Celebrity Connect

Phenix’s Celebrity Connect experience takes fan participation to a new level by enabling a live, interactive conversation between fans and a moderator or host. The conversation can be focused around primary content such as a sporting event, or run as an interactive press conference where the moderator pulls fans “on stage” to chat with the celebrity in real-time. The resulting conversation is shared with the entire audience alongside game content to provide a fully interactive real-time experience in a one-to-many fashion.

Auctions & Live Commerce

Phenix’s ultra-low latency live streams make it possible for auction houses to share real-time streams of the auctioneer, the item being auctioned, and competing bidders to engage the audience and keep the adrenaline — and the winning bids — high. Low-latency, synchronized video streaming technology developed by Phenix levels the playing field in a hybrid world by enabling remote bidders to bid at the same time as those on-site. Of course, this also expands the participant pool for auction houses, increasing competition and driving up sales prices. We’ve seen auction houses of all shapes and sizes, from automobiles, to cattle, to memorabilia, to livestock leverage WebRTC live streaming to unlock new revenue opportunities that didn’t exist in an offline-only world. Feedback from the auction participants can be via user video and audio or via data, when the user interacts with the UI to send a bid.


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Watch Parties

Phenix’s Virtual Couch allows friends to hang out while watching the same content — either live or pre-recorded — in complete synchronization. The content can include a synchronized, secure data stream, allowing for innovative experiences such as real-time micro-wagering. It’s like web conferencing, but integrated with a variety of media-rich experiences: think Watch+Bet, Interactive Prediction Contests, Fantasy Drafts, and others.

Phenix’s Virtual Couch leverages Phenix’s patented SyncWatch™ technology, which ensures synchronous media to all members of an audience, on all devices, regardless of device type, location, or connection, within 100 milliseconds — three frames of video at 30fps — which is virtually imperceptible to the human eye.

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With Phenix’s WebRTC streaming as the back-end, online trivia has the opportunity to provide a uniform experience for all players, prohibiting spoilers and leveling the playing field between all participants. This model can also work with prediction contests, something that’s difficult to deliver in the market today because of the high latency and lack of synchronization that is characteristic of most streaming protocols. A favorite example of how Phenix can enrich online trivia is the first-ever “Oscars Game,” where Phenix powered livestreaming without delay to 1.4 million total viewers with sub-half-second latency, compared to the traditional stream on at over 90 seconds.


oscars trivia app

In addition to the setup shown in the diagram below, trivia systems can be configured similar to the Celebrity Connect model, where individual participants can be taken from the audience to answer questions in real time, as if they were on a game show.


Phenix’s multi-angle offering enables viewers to watch up to seven angles of the game, with sub-second latency and in complete synchronization. This comes equipped with multi-angle replay — if you miss a play or want to see the action from a different angle, you can watch a replay with three, five, or seven angles of your choice.

Phenix multi-angle technology is the backbone of Verizon 5G Multi-View, which is live with eight NFL teams, two NBA teams, and one NHL team. It has been a staple of the fan experience at the last two Super Bowls!

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1 second left, Lakers down 1, LeBron James goes to the free throw line. Will he make both free throws?

Phenix enables betting on every play in a sports game, better known as micro-wagering. Phenix extends the betting window, giving users more time to place bets, and allows viewers to interact with key moments in the game like never before.

Micro-wagering faces multiple obstacles in typical streaming technology. Significant delays in video streaming shorten the available betting window, enable fraud and arbitrage, and create courtsiding. A lack of audience synchronization puts bettors on an uneven playing field. Crashes from flash crowds lead to the loss of entire audiences.

Only Phenix Real-Time Streaming can deliver the robust, ultra-low-latency video streaming with synchronized video that enables betting down to the second. Audience synchronization within 100 milliseconds on all devices regardless of device or connection creates a level playing field for all bettors. Phenix’s autonomous scaling handles flash crowds at a global scale using a global data center network.