Seen at South by Southwest International: Gui.de is an app (in beta) that takes your online news and social streams and turns them into TV. At its heart, Gui.de is like an RSS reader, but article gathering is the only similarity with other news reader apps currently available. It takes on the look of a TV guide, separating your articles into different categories, according to topics, and displaying them like a cable channel guide station.
When an article is selected, an avatar of your choosing pops onto the screen and starts reading you the news (see avatar options here). If the article has any photographs, they will be incorporated into the show, much like a news anchor showing off pictures. Similarly, the avatar will cut to any video footage, breaking up the news broadcast to display the additional content. The app can be left on a setting that automatically pulls articles from the sites you’ve selected.
Gui.de also integrates with Facebook and Twitter, so it will turn those stories into video reports based on what links have been shared in your social networking feeds.
Why I’m Curious:
While social/news aggregator apps are ubiquitous (e.g., Flipboard, Zite, Pulse), Gui.de taps into an underrepresented market. Apps like Newsy and Now This News deliver video content, but not as personalized and socially comprehensive as Gui.de. In addition to an entertaining option for news delivery, it can be a time-saving means of digesting content – for instance, you can play news in the background when you’re multitasking. I wonder what the cost model for this will be. If ads will be permitted, would the avatars read those out as well?