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Marvel Superheroes Add Muscle To Mobile Messaging

Visual communications software provider Eyematic has joined with Verizon Wireless to offer Shout Messenger, the first animated mobile messaging application in the U.S. Shout Messenger allows Verizon Wireless' "Get It Now" subscribers to personalize their mobile messages with Marvel superheroes animated in full color, including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and X-Men characters. Shout Messenger subscribers first enter their text, then select a famous hero from the Marvel universe and an animation corresponding to the emotional tone of their message. The animated message can be sent to another Shout Messenger subscriber or anyone with an e-mail capable wireless phone or Internet-enabled PC. Subsequent expansions to the service are expected to include additional branded characters, still photos, graphics, music and speech capabilities. Eyematic created the multimedia software platform behind Shout Messenger over the past four years, developing a wide range of technologies necessary for the deployment of cost-effective value-added mobile applications. The company's lightweight visual encoding, message delivery and playback software reduces the infrastructure and authoring costs associated with other techniques. Eyematic recently received four U.S. patents covering its visual sensing and character animation technologies.

The world of wireless animation is sneaking up on many of us. Christopher Harz outlines the current state of the industry, its players and its potential.