SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adine Deford, Cynthia Dunlop, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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New ZapVM™ App Provides Powerful Mobile Communications Platform Using Realtime Visual Messaging

Jigsaw Informatics, Inc. (Jigsaw) today announced that ZapVM™, a new iOS app that allows users to easily create and share video messages by combining photos, voice, graphics and touchscreen gestures in realtime, is now available in the iTunes App Store. ZapVM provides a novel communications platform that allows users to quickly and easily send a uniquely coherent visual message, give a short presentation or tell an illustrated story while highlighting important details.

“Emails and text messages, even when paired with images, often result in miscommunication,” said Joan Wood, Jigsaw co-founder and vice president of product development. “Because it is difficult to convey emotion through text and a challenge to convey visual context using whole images, important visual details can get lost in the process. ZapVM allows people to view, manipulate and narrate over their images in realtime—the way they would if the recipient were standing right next to them. The end result is a visual message that is much clearer and easier to understand.”

ZapVM allows iOS users to create and share visual messages for social and business use, simply and immediately. Using ZapVM is intuitive and familiar since it is similar to swiping through one’s photos while telling a story. To use ZapVM, consumers simply select up to 10 photos from the device’s photo library or from the in-app camera function and arrange them. ZapVM also includes extensive graphics tools, stickers, captions and other features that enable users to modify or customize their images without leaving the app. PowerPoint slides may also be imported into ZapVM as JPEGs or PNGs and used accordingly.

Users, in realtime, record their visual message by swiping through their photos using familiar gestures like double-tap and pinch zoom and two-finger drag while narrating their message to add perfectly synchronized, personal voiceovers to each image and gesture. ZapVM also features a unique “live pointer” that lets users highlight objects within their photos while recording.

Once the recording is completed, ZapVM employs unique, patent-pending Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) based rendering that combines the images, graphics, voice and gestures into a single, concise MP4 Zap Video message up to 90 seconds in duration that clearly conveys context and emotion—an often-challenging feat in a text-driven world.

“With ZapVM, we enable users to harness the power of mobile GPUs via an intuitive user interface to easily create high-fidelity, annotated visual messages with perfectly synchronized voice narration and touch-screen gestures, which really helps convey emotion and context,” said Ross Q. Smith, Jigsaw co-founder and CEO.

Once rendered, users can save the resulting Zap Video to their photo library or share via text, email, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, WhatsApp or virtually any other available app or media-sharing vehicle. If users choose to register for a free ZapVM account, they also have the option to publish their Zap Videos on the ZapVM website. Once published, the user can directly share either a public or unlisted Zap Link with their selected audience through email or indirectly share the Zap Link via social media—both of which enable multiple users to view the Zap Video without downloading the file.

“We believe ZapVM can change the dynamics of how people use mobile devices to communicate by providing unprecedented message clarity, combined with powerful and evolving sharing capabilities that support both social and business use,” said Smith.

Uses of ZapVM include messages where precision, clarity and/or emotion is important, including:

  • Parents reminding their kids about chores or homework or providing a step-by-step guide to a baby or pet sitter regarding how to use items around the house
  • Family and friends sharing memorable occasions or greetings ranging from birthday and well wishes to thank-you notes and congratulations
  • Consumers reviewing restaurants, hotels, spas, new products, etc.
  • Amateur and professional chefs showing each step of a recipe and explaining how to get the best results
  • Realtors providing personalized presentations on new listings for a website or describing key features of properties for a given client
  • Teachers and coaches providing step-by-step instructions or analysis on virtually any topic
  • Event planners and marketers showing venues and services for events
  • Business people creating short, narrated PowerPoint presentations, analyses and sales pitches
  • Pet owners and pet-adoption agencies looking to show off their animals and promote animal rescue

Additional ZapVM examples may be viewed on the ZapVM website.

The free version of ZapVM allows users to create and share an unlimited number of 30-second Zap Videos with ad-based Zap Links if published on ZapVM.com and up to 25 active Zap Projects on their device. Free users may also use Zap Credits to export enhanced quality Zap Videos that are up to 90 seconds long and that include an ad-free Zap Link, if published, for three months. All users receive five free credits upon downloading the app. Zap Credit Packs with 20 credits are available via in-app purchase for 99 cents. Users may also upgrade to Zap Plus for $4.99, which allows users to store an unrestricted number of active Zap Projects on their device(s) and to create, export and share an unlimited number of enhanced-quality, 90-second Zap Videos, each of which includes an ad-free Zap Link, if published, for three months.

To download ZapVM, visit getzap.com or visit the iTunes App Store at http://appstore.com/zapvmrealtimevisualmessaging.

About Jigsaw Informatics

Jigsaw Informatics (Jigsaw) is a Silicon Valley-based startup founded by seasoned technology pioneers whose mission is to enable people to easily use their mobile devices to solve information problems through small, application-specific tools. ZapVM Realtime Visual Messaging is the first product from Jigsaw and lays the foundation for future products that enable users to create, edit and share integrated, mixed multimedia messages that document important things in life, whether they are business or personal, serious or fun, practical or entertaining. For more info on Jigsaw, please visit jigsaw.info.

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