We’ve all been there – you watch a horror movie and you know the main character definitely shouldn’t walk into that spooky house, but no matter how much you scream at your TV, you can’t change his fate. But what if you tell the guy on the screen to stay away from the house and he actually listens?
It could become possible with the latest venture from entertainment entrepreneur Devo Harris, a Grammy-winner and longtime collaborator of artists like Kanye West and John Legend.
After launching in beta in August 2020, Adventr has created a user-friendly interface where anyone can drag and drop items to create interactive videos. Thousands of users have built interactive experiences, from space-themed children’s educational modules to promotional videos for luxury fashion clients like Marc Jacobs and LVMH.
But at TechCrunch Disrupt, where Adventr is one of 20 startups participating in Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield, founder and CEO Harris unveiled a product element that will set Adventr apart: patented voice control technology that allows users to dictate the flow. of a video.
Specifically, the patent relates to technology that uses speech recognition to change the course of a video in the middle of a stream. It can also connect to other databases and applications to search for answers and answer questions in real time.
“It’s not about ‘turn up the volume’, it’s about ‘don’t come in this room’,” Harris told TechCrunch. “If I can talk to my TV, if I can talk to my phone, why can’t I talk to my video? Our technology allows these videos to use your microphone to understand and respond in real time to what the viewer wants. The vast majority of the internet is video, so we allow video to work like the rest of these smart devices.
Although Harris points out that he and his team – which currently only number five people – are creative first, he believes Adventr has exciting applications in e-commerce. It references a scene from the 2002 film Minority Report, where Tom Cruise meets a hologram at GAP that asks him about his personalized shopping experience.
In a sample video of how voice control technology works, a shopper goes to Target to find a set of pajamas. As a viewer, you can use voice commands such as “show me the green” or “find a size large” to determine which item to purchase. If you decide to purchase the pajama set, you’ll be taken to Target’s website, where you can complete the purchase manually, but Harris hopes that eventually the whole experience will be fully native to Adventr.
Currently, Adventr’s tools are available on subscription, but a free plan allows users to experience the product before paying for a pro ($ 29 per month) or professional ($ 99 per month) plan. Adventr isn’t necessarily an ecommerce, education, or entertainment platform – it’s a tool with a variety of apps that businesses and artists can use.
“Think of Adventr as a video API, like Twilio meets Vimeo,” Harris said. “Basically what our users will be able to do is put in phrases or keywords that will trigger certain video clips to play.”
Adventr was launched with a funding round of $ 1 million, but has yet to announce additional funding. But the startup is already selling its product to subscribers, providing it with an early stage revenue stream. Although Harris did not release specific financial data, he said without spending on customer acquisition, Adventr’s revenue has increased 80-fold from early 2021 to date.