AWS for M&E Blog

VidDay taps AWS to deliver out-of-this world video greeting

There’s no better pick-me-up than connecting with a loved one or friend, but in the last year in-person celebrations have proven unsafe amidst the global pandemic. Fortunately, video technology startups like VidDay have envisioned socially distant ways for people to connect, celebrate special occasions and send well wishes. In the last year, VidDay has seen traffic skyrocket on its video greeting card platform, which allows users to assemble dynamic video message compilations from family and friends. While striving to meet its ambitious goal of delivering more than one billion smiles across the globe, VidDay set its sights beyond Earth’s atmosphere, delivering the first video greeting card to an astronaut in space this past Christmas, using a host of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Working closely with astronaut’s father, the VidDay team helped surprise the astronaut with a memorable holiday video greeting comprising messages from his family, friends, and colleagues, along with unexpected well wishes from actor Idris Elba. VidDay prepped weeks in advance to ensure that the video could be sent through an encrypted portal and on an uplink for viewing from an orbital space station, and that the astronaut’s reaction to it could be captured on camera.

In preparing the video greeting for outer space delivery, VidDay leaned on the AWS services that power its platform. Using AWS Lambda, code was run on the VidDay site without provisioning or managing servers, while AWS Elemental MediaConvert provided video transcoding. In addition, the VidDay backend that was used to power the video greeting card comprises the Amazon Athena interactive query service for analyzing data in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon CloudFront for video delivery to range of viewing platforms and devices, Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring, AWS CloudTrail for operations monitoring, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Spot Instances for economical multi-node rendering, and Amazon Fargate serverless compute for containers.

The ambitious undertaking came together quickly, and as Ross Sabourin, CEO at VidDay shared, “The end result is a testament to what’s possible with modern technology like VidDay and AWS, and a shared passion for making people smile. The way I see it, we shot for the moon, and landed amongst the stars; however, none of this would have been possible without the help of Luther star Idris Elba, Canada’s astronaut-hero Chris Hadfield, and the astronaut’s father along with all of the video greeting participants, and a robust, dynamic backend powered by AWS, which supported everything from media storage to encoding and beyond.”

As the VidDay platform continues to innovate and expand what’s possible in the world of video greetings, the startup is also exploring how Amazon machine learning solutions might play a role in its infrastructure. The company’s passion for inspiring small acts of kindness around the world shines through in all that it does, and look no further than the astronaut’s smile in the video recording for proof. Their efforts will surely continue to yield immeasurable results in commanding smiles, and AWS is both thrilled and honored to be a part of that.

For more information about VidDay, or to try it out, visit: