A key component of the Blueye Pioneer underwater drone is providing a high quality, low latency video stream from the drone to the pilot’s smart device used to control the drone. To solve this, Blueye decided to use h264 encoded video over RTSP.

Surge by Instil (Surge) was the chosen product.

The Blueye Pioneer App using Surge

Surge is an RTP/RTSP client library that brings IP camera streaming capabilities to millions of mobile devices.

Surge offers cross platform support via native Android and iOS libraries. In addition, a Xamarin distribution of the library is available – permitting developers to offer cross platform support, by integrating against a single Xamarin /C# API.

After our initial engagement, we worked with Blueye to aid their integration of the library into the product. Thanks to Surge’s concise APIs, our setup guides and Xamarin sample application, Blueye were able to get the library integrated in only thirty minutes.

The Blueye Pioneer Drone
The Blueye Pioneer Drone


The Surge library has helped Blueye implement quality h264 and RTSP in their application in a short amount of time. Going forward they are looking forward to collaborating with our Surge development team to improve their streaming quality even further.

The trial version that we started with, confirmed the impression of a clean and simple API design, and we could integrate it into our app in less than 30 minutes. We already had the RTSP server running, so it was really cool to see how quickly we could leverage the new streaming protocol in our app. The response from Instil and the Surge team was incredibly swift and friendly, and we got clear answers to any question we had. Jonas Follesø – Chief Software Developer, Blueye Robotics

The Blueye Pioneer App using Surge
The Blueye Pioneer App using Surge
The Blueye Pioneer App using Surge

If you are looking to implement RTSP streaming in a Xamarin application I would highly recommend trying out Surge. It can save you a lot of time (and licensing issues for app store submissions) compared to using some of the known open source streaming libraries and frameworks. Jonas Follesø – Chief Software Developer, Blueye Robotics

Key Facts about Surge

  • Instil developed Surge in response to a client’s need to develop a mobile application capable of streaming up-to 9 concurrent high-resolution CCTV feeds. Designed from the ground up to run on mobile devices, Surge offers unparalleled streaming performance on resource constrained mobile devices. In addition, by offering simple APIs, Surge eliminates the need for users to understand complex streaming protocols, encodings and transports.
  • The library has tried and tested bindings for Xamarin - which offer H264 (hardware decoded) and MJPEG support.
  • Surge has been built to be highly efficient at handling streaming data, and is focused on environments for handling multiple concurrent streams.
  • The premise of the library is to simplify the RTSP / RTP protocols and maximise performance
  • Surge offers friending licensing options to suit user needs

Images by Blueye Robotics AS, used under CC BY 4.0