Swoopware® - where it began
Swoopware® Pty. Ltd. is an Australian company based near Townsville, the heart of Far North Queensland in Australia. We're surrounded by rain-forest enshrouded mountains, pristine tropical islands, the Great Barrier Reef and an amazing diversity of adventure activities to choose from. We've chosen skydiving as our primary adventure sport but spend our time scuba diving and fishing on the Great Barrier Reef as well.
Building a software application and preparing it for world wide deployment is not an easy process. TandemVids did not exist in January 2010 and wasn't even an idea or concept at the time.
The changing times of the skydiving industry forced me to bite the bullet and start taking handcam videos during tandem skydives. After a weekend in the back of an incredibly hot van, pumping out videos at Skydive Townsville, I realised there had to be a better way. The old system involved editing in real time, pausing and starting a DVD recorder, sliding music faders in and out at appropriate key moments during the skydive, changing tracks on an iPod and taking photos the entire time on an older DV camera with your left hand. It was a challenge.
I promised my Chief Instructor I'd find a better way. I tried a few different products and video editing suites but they all required time line video editing and were never going to work for our dropzone with some instructors yet to discover email. We needed an easier solution.
In February 2010, I built my first proof of concept. The stairs of death at our place was a three-event test video with an interview, the stairs of death and the jubilation of having accomplished such a feat. I built the code from the ground up and decided it could be done. The concept of fully automated tandem videos was born.
I committed to the Australian Parachute Federation's annual 2010 Conference in May with an idea and a proof of concept. From that day forward, I squeezed every spare second from every single day and burnt the candle well into the mornings to build a demo application to present at the conference. I was still writing code the day before I flew out but I did it and it went well. I automated the production of a skydiving video live on stage in front of 300 people.
The application I presented at the conference has evolved into the one we have today. It would have been awesome to have todays tried and proven version at the conference but I made do with what I had at the time.
The first year of Swoopware® the company was a crazy year, holding down a normal job, working weekends at Skydive Townsville, trying to spend weekends with my wife and doing my best to find the time to create the completed application you see today.
I truly hope Swoopware® TandemVids eases your workflow. We make your videos while you jump.
Have fun. Cheers and beers.