VizLingo converts texts to indecipherable videos. Why?
An experiment in post-literacy doesn't do much to increase comprehension.
From the Are You Kidding Me files today comes VizLingo, a New York-based company that takes the words you type and creates quick-cut videos out of them. You type in, "I want to buy some cheese," and you get a five-second video of the concepts, "I," "want," and so on. Go see what I mean.
Let me be clear about this. I don't get it. These vids don't help comprehension. If they did, they wouldn't need subtitles. And the emotional content whipsaws all over the place due to the quick cuts.
But, says CEO Azeo Fables, that's the point. "We're responding directly to the A.D.D. generation, who wants things quick and fast. The clip length is tuned to the mindset of users who watch music videos."
Fables says his target demographic, 14- to 24-year-olds, has not been well-served by text messaging, in which it's hard to embed emotional content save for emoticons. He also believes that the clip library now on the service (30,000 tagged clips taken from Fables' post-college around-the-world video tour) will eventually be supplanted by user-generated tagged videos.
VizLingo has raised $1.8 million in venture funding and there are 11 people working on the project. Fables believes revenues may come from third-party content providers. If you use the word "car" in a clip, maybe you'll get a Ford-provided image. Also, he hopes to integrate the VizLingo function into existing messaging platforms, hopefully at a profit. Mobile apps are on the way.
I don't dispute that this is a fun experiment. And props to the VizLingo team for at least trying to come up with two-second video clips to illustrate words like "is," and "fund." Anything that pushes the boundaries of language and expression is likely to get some initial interest. But I believe this experiment is a novelty, not the dawn of a new post-text form of communication. I'm shocked it's raised so much money. Maybe the millennials that Fables is targeting will prove me wrong, but I doubt it.