A new app called Wibbitz lets your eyes take a break from text by creating quick video summaries that combine the biggest facts in the article with easily recognizable images....... is this the solution to mobile 'viewing'.......?
Wibbitz Technology Creates Video Summaries From Articles………
More and more people read articles on their smartphones, using their work commute on a train or a visit to their doctor’s waiting room to catch up on the latest news. But with so much reading on tiny mobile devices, a readers’ vision might begin get a little strained.
A new app called Wibbitz lets your eyes take a break from text by creating quick video summaries that combine the biggest facts in the article with easily recognizable images. For 60-120 seconds, a robotic voice reads the article’s text aloud while showing related images and key phrases. The app uses “advanced text analysis and smart algorithms,” as the official website states, creating easy-to-digest summaries for those uninterested in plowing through large blocks of text.
The app, launched by Zohar Dayan and Yotam Cohen, is currently only available for the iPhone. It contains a ‘top news’ category and a ‘market overview’ — information on the stock market — and allows you specify your own news categories. The app also allows you to choose from certain news outlets, organized by topics such as entertainment, sports, gossip, U.S. and technology.
“Our text-to-video technology is based on advanced NLP and machine learning as well as some artificial intelligence components,” Dayan told Mashable in an email.
“Our main goal is to understand the true essence of a story so we can visualize it in the most accurate way… We patented our technology and today we have the most scalable solution for automatically producing videos. Each video takes us just 5 seconds to create and we’re currently algorithmically generating more than 10,000 videos each day, without any human intervention.”
The app, though, seems to falter in some areas. We found Mashable listed under the technology category and decided to see what would happen if we picked an article published earlier that day.
Mashable’s post “Russell Brand is Readying a Revolution” was included in the list, so we clicked on it. The robotic voice read the article pretty well, except for the part where our writer quoted Brand as saying “Until then, pfft, don’t bother” which, coming from the robot, sounded like “Until then, P-F-F-T, don’t bother.”
Each video summary shows relevant phrases with photos related to the articles. The user sees these photos and text as the robotic voice reads the article. This particular video summary also struggled with related photos; it started showing a photo of Russell Brand but at one point flashed a photo from an Apple keynote with ‘Air’ in the background. Also, if you want to watch the video that the robotic voice mentions as it reads the text, there’s no way to do so directly from the app; users would need to open a new browser and search for the specific article in order to find embedded or linked material.
“We have a very big vision at Wibbitz and many challenges in being able to create a visual story from pure and unstructured text,” says Dayan, in response to the app’s glitches.
“As with any automated solution, glitches may occur, but our technology today is over 90% accurate and we are constantly improving it to deal with any type of content. We are analyzing hundreds of thousands of articles per month to the word, and we’ve built things in a way that the more data we process the smarter the algorithms get.”
Aside from the glitches, it might also be helpful if readers were able to see the original article from within the app, in order to click on other, related content. However, some users might see the absence of that option as a small price to pay for the overall convenience of the app.
Wibbitz is also working on an Android version for the app and is currently reaching out to major publications for partnerships.
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