Emojis rule the language of chat. And with nifty apps such as Bitmoji and other celebrity-powered apps such as Kimoji (Kim Kardashian), Hamoji (Lewis Hamilton) and Arimoji (Ariana Grande), chatting has become an immersive experience. Mobigraph, the company that powers XPRESSO.TECH, specializes in a new form of digital communication – Animojis (animated emojis). We speak with Siddhartha Vinnakote, CTO at Mobigraph, to understand what makes their service unique. Read on!
What inspired you to create Xpresso.tech? How did the idea come about?
Mobigraph is a company that is all about emotions. We want to enhance the current, emotionally bankrupt digital communication. When in a physical conversation, non-verbal cues such as body language & facial expressions convey most of the emotion & meaning of what is being said.
However, when it comes to digital communication, people are limited to the creative use of language, punctuation & static emojis to convey meaning. We firmly believe that users deserve better. And so, all our innovations are committed to meeting this need. This inspired us to come up with QUGO & XPRESSO technology.
Siddhartha Vinnakote, CTO at Mobigraph.
What is the process of creating new emojis, GIFs and avatars? How do you decide what to create and what will work?
For the users, the process is very simple. During onboarding, users create an avatar that best resembles the style that they want to sport. After that, they are presented with a wide variety of animations for various emotions and situations. They can customize these animations using text and export it in the desired format (GIF, MP4, HTML5, Video, etc.) and with a single click, share it across any social channel as an enhanced form of digital communication.
For us, the animation creation process starts with the creative team coming up with an idea or story. This is then executed in a DCCT (digital content creation tool like Maya, 3ds Max) and exported to our proprietary format. This animation is then rendered on our cloud servers with the user’s avatar & custom text.
Each animation unit addresses a particular emotion. Further, care is taken that this animation unit works well with all different possibilities of user avatar & different input texts (language, diction, etc.). To aid us in this process we have created a tool that will help any artist create content for Xpresso.
To know what will work in the market, we rely heavily on analytics. We have built a robust data collection & data crunching toolset to enable us to know which content works, how and where it is being used, when it is being used & what demography of users is using it the most. Many times, to test out a new idea, we measure & compare it with our benchmark metrics to decide whether the idea will work.
How can brands use Xpresso for engaging with their customers?
Currently, in digital ad technology, there are almost no formats apart from intrusive full-screen video ads where an emotional connection can be established. Still, most of the advertisement in digital spaces happens via “Banner Ads”.
Xpresso ads offer a very refreshing & engaging alternative to banner ads whilst being non-intrusive in nature. Because Xpresso ads are animated, they will be more engaging & will help brands foster a stronger emotional connection with the consumer.
Furthermore, Xpresso ads will be avatar based, hence brands can utilize its mascot like never before. More importantly, because of the technology behind Xpresso, these Ads can have a customized runtime. Ads need to be created once and based on the demography, time, region and gender the runtime for the content can be adjusted.
What are your future plans for Xpresso?
Our plan is to build a business via partnerships. Some sectors that we are actively pursuing are Keyboards, Social messengers, chatbots (especially consumer-facing bots), Advertisement technology, and AR/VR.
Currently, we are in talks with a major OEM, for keypad integration of Xpresso. Our API Integration is underway with Touchpal (a keyboard company). Very soon we will see Xpresso Ads, currently, pilot projects are running with a leading media agency.
How is moving to a .TECH domain helping your brand?
As a technology company, we always wanted a URL that reflects the same. Now we can be creative with the name as the extension clearly positions us as a technology innovator. It really helps us getting identified.
The .com/.co are really crowded & availability has always been an issue; new domain names have solved that. Also adding .tech to our domain gave an idea to developers/partners that they could use our tech inside their apps or businesses.
I believe because these new domain names are still not very common, having a cool .tech domain ads to our image as an early mover or simply a cool company/product.