Gizmoz.com has recently secured a $6.3 million in funding from Benchmark Capital and Columbia Capital. This round of funding is a Series A investment from Benchmark Capital and Columbia Capital. The money will be used to expand the Gizmoz’s product development efforts and support its global expansion plans.
Gizmoz is a social expression and user-generated media service. Gizmoz offers a new generation of character-based visual expression–for use across your digital life. The Gizmoz service makes it easy to create, customize, animate and share photorealistic 3D talking characters and videos that allow you to communicate and express yourself in more realistic and imaginative ways. Each Gizmoz has a 3D lifelike head and body it delivers a personalized, lip-synched message. Characters can be fashioned as a self-portrait, using a digital photograph, or customized using images from the Gizmoz Library.
Once the 3D head and body are automatically constructed, you can choose from a lot of different hairstyles, clothing and accessories to fashion a one-of-a-kind character just for you. At the end, you can create a personal message by making a voice recording or choose a text-to-speech option. The entire process takes less than one minute.
Gizmoz also launched its new online service, which allows you to create animated, talking characters. These 3D lifelike characters can be used to generate video clips and other forms of original content they can be posted to any blog or social networking profile, sent via email to family and friends, or uploaded to video sites.
Gizmoz has also released new widgets that let you communicate:
– Gizmoz Stickers allows you to “stick” your Gizmoz character on any blog or profile page, leaving your personalized mark and message behind. You can use Gizmoz Stickers to greet visitors or to comment on another site. Posting takes just two clicks.
– Gizmoz Answering Machine allows you to create a message center on your blog or profile page. You can use the Gizmoz Answering Machine to post your Gizmoz message on your site, and visitors can use the tool to instantly create their own Gizmoz character and leave a message, which can be made private or reviewed and rated by others.
The Gizmoz technology platform combines behavioral animation, digital puppetry and 3D rendering to deliver animated characters that behave in a natural and believable manner. They appear to have lifelike movements, including eye blinks, breathing and a range of facial expressions constructed from nearly 100 morph targets. Live voice-driven lip-syncing, text-to-speech and advanced phoneme recognition provide a range of voice tones and dialects for optimal sound quality.
Because Gizmoz incorporates Flash throughout its service, it can be played on any Web browser, and it’s compatible with mobile devices that support MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services) or WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). The footprint is small enough for mobile devices, yet delivers the graphics quality required for broadcast TV. Gizmoz has four patents in place and one pending.
As you can see, I have added an animated, talking, Gizmoz head to the top of this post. I would like to challenge a few fellow bloggers to create an animated, talking head just like I did. For this, I’m pinging Jennifer Laycock, Shoemoney, Todd Malicoat, Michael Gray, Aaron Wall, and Andy Beard. I’d love to see your “talking head”. So, if you’re up to it, post it! I’d love to see it! Aren’t these things hilarious?
Update: Links in this post have been removed, as they weren’t working at last check. November 16, 2014.