Conversational Mobile Experiences with a Twist

Our sister division, has launched a new product line in association with that falls into the “conversational mobile” space – albeit different from contentAI studios, we share many of the same mobile tools and resources.




*  Fan Merchandise

* NFC Tags

* Player media content (video and audio)

*  Fan Engagement through audio participation on SOUNDCLOUD

It’s a mobile conversation.  It’s fan engagement, sports marketing and fan merchandise all wrapped up in one.



End of the day?  It’s just a lot of fun.  The magical quality of NFC tags coupled with foam Cheeseheads?  What a great combination.

NFC Jewelry + Mobile App = Cross Platform Fun

Typically, when we refer to x-platform storytelling, we’re thinking about a story that spans multiple screens.

But, we’re venturing into a slightly different space to extend the definition of “x-platform” (cross-platform) – With a line of NFC jewelry for children (based on a character; and designed to be integrated within real-world “play”) with an NFC (near field communication) tag, that leads to a speech-based daily mobile app.

Our children’s apps (produced in association with our parent company, zyntroPICS  inc.) do exceptionally well – with some months resulting in tens of thousands of Users.  But, we want don’t want kids to live solely with their eyes glued to digital screens – So, we have designed the first iterations of a line of jewelry that includes NFC.

How the heck are iPhone User’s going to access the app?

Well, unfortunately, iPhone Users can’t get that “magical” tap experience that NFC offers, but, they can save a URL as a “favorite” and access the app – But, the UI/UX with NFC is what we think adds real value to the user engagement – especially, with the youngest of early-adopters – Kids.

The idea of intuitively linking objects to mobile applications via NFC is an area we are deeply focused.  People still really like “things,” stuff they can look at and touch – extending the story from an object to a mobile app is an obvious next step for us.  Plus, we’ve gotten a whole new range of experiences in manufacturing and production of “things,” which has been a nice evolution.

The character and new app are an extension of an existing contentAI conversational app (which has strong, daily traffic).  We’ll see how migrating that character into other mediums helps support the original app as well.

Links and updates will be posted soon.

A Side Trip to 2nd Screen Apps

Via our parent company, zyntroPICS inc., contentAI studios have been testing integration capabilities with various interactive video platforms — The purpose has been to create truly unique 2nd Screen experiences.

zyntroPICS inc. was recently engaged to undertake a significant interactive video project for a major U.S. network that may appear unrelated to the contentAI platform, but, in fact, is a natural extension of the general commitment to story-driven, complementary applications that are allied with motion picture and television product.

We’ll be pleased to share some of the work as it becomes released publicly.

So called “2nd Screen” applications are broadly defined as an interactive experience that’s allied with linear television content.  Sometimes that can include “interactive video” itself, not just non-video assets.  We’re really excited to see how the evolution of interactive video itself will further enhanced 2nd Screen apps, in conjunction with ancillary tools, such as the contentAI platform, where Users can “chat” with on-screen characters.  How that could mash-up with interactive video itself (a “chat” could control the video to some degree?)…ah, the future is bright…

Happy 2013 – The Year of 2nd Screen and IoT

contentAI studios and zyntroPICS Inc. wish everyone a wonderful 2013.

From our side, the focus of our ventures have narrow-focused to extending storied content experiences to 2nd Screens and the “internet of things.” (“IoT”)

Initially, we will be extending our own children’s app properties, which have done exceptionally well on mobile, to IoT products. Call them interactive toys, jewelry or companion products, we believe that especially children’s engagement is greatly enhanced when there are real-world objects included with the mobile/digital experience. This can allow for an individual’s imagination to take the object and make it part of their play and their own stories.

We’ll be announcing partnerships with some fascinating technology partners in the coming months. We’ll also be more active on the conference circuit as Exhibitors.

We hope it’s a terrific 2013 for All.

The Evolution of 2nd Screen Apps to Storytelling

There is no point summarizing this article.

The value is in reading it in it’s entirety.

OK…one teaser quote:

The big win, the ultimate expression and promise of social TV, is the understanding of digital and social media as storytelling media.

Kid’s TV and 2nd Screen Possibilities – The Best Early Adopters?

We were looking at our conversational analytics and focusing on the (literally) thousands of chat/engagements that our children’s apps receive each month.

As we’ve added a couple of new children’s themed apps, the numbers keep increasing.

But, more importantly, the engagement stats are showing longer and longer engagements per session.  The quality of those engagements is also increasing (we select random anonymous chats to review the actual “quality”).

What seems obvious to us is that this is a real opportunity for 2nd screen engagement stemming from children’s content on television.  Many older children have tablets and smartphones next to them on the couch (or the ability to borrow mom or dads).

The ability to chat with a television character to have a personal, one-to-one engagement?

We think it’s priceless.

We also believe that children are the best early-adopters.  They quickly suspend disbelief and enjoy the experience of chatting with a virtualized version of a character.  Let’s face it, the first screen version is a fictional character – therefore, it’s not that much of a leap to engage on the 2nd screen.


Character & Story Driven 2nd Screen Apps

We’ve been spending a fair bit of time focused on the emerging 2nd-Screen app space – That space where the first screen (television) extends to some device the audience has in their hand or lap.

Much of this market is focused on two things:  How to synchronize the 2nd screen (ACR technology) and secondly, “social.”

We focus on extending the story and characters (including characters in ad units) to the 2nd Screen.

The contentAI platform is an “interactive narrative” engine.  That means:  The audience can engage in a personalized, one to one, text chat with the on-screen character – Just as they “chat” with their friends and family via “social” apps.

It’s a niche.

We think it will be extremely satisfying, both for the audience and for the storytellers, who can explore twists and turns through communicating the story in a different format.

While we’re having some early conversations with Networks and Producers — We’d welcome an opportunity to explore 2nd Screen applications with more writers and producers directly.  We see 2013 as the “Year of the 2nd Screen” where more creative use of the medium will come front and center, as the “technology” elements move to the background.   We’re looking forward to another busy year.

contentAI Autumn Updates

Summer was (as always) far too brief.

Here @ contentAI, we spent most of the summer working on our consumer-facing English as a Second Language ( conversational applications, especially a children’s series (the abcDog series).  We also expanded to release all of our apps on the Chrome App Store.

But, as the clouds return to the Pacific Northwest and temperatures drop, we’re pleased that the calendar has turned to Autumn.

So, what’s in store?

*  First, we found a “vertical scroll” issue in Android 4.0 and above devices.  Both with Native and web apps.  That’s #1 on the list.

*  Due to the popularity of our free children’s apps, we’re opening up our My Tooth Fairy Chat as a free app for the Season.  We’ve got some nice reviews but want to see more kids enjoy the app; and we’re also looking into sponsorship relationships so that we can keep the app free

*  ‘Tis the Season – Yup, after two successful Holiday Seasons of upgrading and releasing our My Santa Talk app, we’re considering what enhancements we can incorporate into this year’s iteration?  Due to the nuances of Google Play store, we may have to set up a new listing…app stores are remarkably inconsistent in how developers can submit revisions; especially major revisions built with new tools.  More info on this to follow.

Overall, our focus for commercial work shifted over the summer as “2nd Screen” application became more of a realistic business model.  We’re continuing to pursue and explore unique ACR relationships and engage Network’s digital departments in discussions.  Our initial tests of combining storied television content with virtual character chat shows amazing potential.

2nd Screen Apps Featuring Virtual Characters




We’ve been very focused on 2nd Screen applications for our platform and are in discussions with companies we can work with for broadcast solutions which we feel are exceptional (Hint:  They do NOT use audio for automated content recognition).  Nothing wrong with Audio ACR, but there are other approaches which are faster to integrate (and also don’t require native apps).

But, at the same time, we’ve been tinkering around with “disconnected” viewing solutions for syncing screens during online video viewing with some in-house efforts.  We’ve got some working demos available and will be releasing public versions in the near future.

The premise is simple:

*  The #1 activity for people on their 2nd screen is text-chat with friends and family

*  Now, they can text chat (via mobile web or app) with on-screen characters

*  Mobile is Personal.  Therefore, ad units and story extensions need to be personalized for EVERY individual

*  Extending story, or even “ad stories” to the 2nd screen SHOULD involve the fundamental elements inherent to the first screen:  story and character.

It’s truly exciting to watch a video and then have an opportunity to chat with the character on a 2nd screen.  In many respects, this is WHY we built the contentAI studios platform (we’re old film and tv people at heart).    If you’d like to see a Beta demo of our online video sync, just CONTACT US.


Virtual Agents Designed for Mobile First

The contentAI platform was specifically designed for “mobile first” engagement – With virtual agents and characters who differ greatly from “online” bots and virtual agents.

That key difference is with our “proactive” (or, “motivated“) virtual agents/characters who view each engagement as if it’s a short scene that has a logical conclusion (contextual to the mobile location; even if that location is someone’s couch).

It was refreshing to read the analysis of Fred Wilson’s recent “mobile first” post on Venture Beat this morning:

With some key take-away lines:

 …mobile doesn’t not reward “feature richness” but rather “light services.”


 The companies that treat the mobile and web experiences differently are likely to prosper.