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Posts Tagged ‘startup’

Watchup Partners with The Washington Post

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Last summer we told you about Watchup, the free app that aggregates news video content. As CEO Adriano Farano put it: We offer all that comes with the immersive experience of video, and a chance to read print articles.” At the time, Watchup had partnered with two high-profile TV stations: PBS and Univision.

Eight months later, the app is expanding their political news coverage by partnering with The Washington Post. PostTV video reports (plus Post Sports Live content) will become available on Watchup’s 3.0 version, which is set to launch on March 13th both on iPad and Android tablets for the first time. I’ll let Farano explain:

post-tv

“The Post’s trustworthy journalism coupled with its latest, outstanding video efforts align with Watchup’s mission to reinvent the video news experience for emerging screens and deliver a multi-channel personalized newscast to people in need of quality information in video format.”

The Washington Post launched PostTV last summer, indicating that they are one of several legacy media outlets feeling the pressure to enhance their digital video efforts. Hey, they seem to be doing something right– average monthly video starts grew 128 percent in the second half of the year after the PostTV launch.

To learn more about Watchup, click here.

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Guide Hits Uncanny Valley in Search of Personalized News

Do you find yourself reading a lot of news? So much that it seems impossible to get through in a timely manner? Or perhaps you’re interested in getting your news while on the go, in the gym or on a commute. Whatever your ire, it’s difficult to read all of the news you want every day, and it’s difficult to find a news broadcast that has every story you want. That’s the problem that Knight Foundation-backed Miami startup Guide is trying to solve  by providing personalized news broadcasts on demand.

Guide, which will debut on iOS this year, is able to do this by ingesting selected articles on websites and feeding them through a text-to-speech reader. The output is then presented via an “avatar” who anchors a broadcast that seamlessly transitions from one news story to the next. The system also incorporates video and pictures to put together an uncanny news show, and cleverly scrolls comments below in a news-ticker style.

The product is still in stealth mode, but check out an alpha demo of the blog PSFK below.

It’s far from perfect, and the avatar can use plenty of work — while it appears to be human and smoothly transitions not only from sentence to sentence but also from story to story, the lips move unnaturally in a way that makes watching the video uncomfortable. Still, it’s an impressive presentation for a startup that’s yet to even launch in beta, so it will be interesting to see how the software will grow.

What do you think of Guide’s product? Is it something you would use in your news-reading experience? Let us know in the comments.