Chudo is launching virtual spaces on mobile to enable avatar based distant socializing
New York City, New York.
May 4, 2020
At the intersection of communication and entertainment, Chudo™ is delivering avatar technologies powered by AI to connect and engage people in the virtual space on several platforms, starting with mobile.
Distant socializing is becoming the new norm. The usage of digital workflow platforms is increasing with the recent remote-work boom. The share of employees who work from home has been accelerating expeditiously since 2005. Moreover, social gatherings at malls and cafes are being substituted by online social gaming with the industry growing at around 15% per year. In the meantime, virtual reality is rapidly encroaching on our digital lives. AR/VR is forecast to top 2.5 billion installed base and $80 billion to $90 billion revenue by 2023.
"The 2020 virus outbreak has dramatically affected the global population in terms of day-to-day socializing and also work organization. College courses, business conferences and office meetings have moved online. The increasing demand for digital communication paired with high- speed internet connections and VR hardware becoming more accessible paves the way for entirely new forms of digital communication in this ever evolving market".
Ashot Gabrelyanov, CEO of Magic Unicorn
Virtual reality is a powerful tool for uniting people at a distance and engaging them in one digital habitat. However, the common ways of communication such as text-based messaging are extremely inconvenient on VR interfaces. Audio streams don’t fully reflect the emotional dimensions of a conversation and video holograms are just spooky.
Chudo is building technology designed specifically for this world. In this way, Chudo shifts messaging from text-based to voice and animation-based content, using digital avatars to enable emotion rich interpersonal communication.
At present, most other companies developing avatar technologies are either focused on the gaming use case or niche b2b solutions. They are also sole to one hardware platform such as Hololens, Magic Leap or Oculus.
Meanwhile, Chudo’s team is focused on building a cross-platform product, serving the current demand of the mass market for distant socializing. In this light, Chudo is launching virtual spaces called "Islands" on mobile in May 2020.
In the near future, Chudo is also planning to expand to new platforms and tackle new use cases such as virtual cinemas, conference calls and classrooms, sporting and music events.
The first version of Chudo was launched on iOS and Android in May and June 2019, respectively. The early version of the app allowed users to generate their digital avatars with AI and communicate with each other by turning audio messages into personalized animations and using stickers instead of text.
As of April 20, 2020, the app has over 800,000 active users with a vast majority of them coming from the Gen Z (53%) and Millennial (28%) cohorts in the United States. These groups are also the app’s most engaged audiences. Notably, Chudo’s rapid growth is entirely organic.
For now, Chudo remains fully free of charge. Although, the app is planning to roll out a freemium business model in the future where the product’s core features will be available gratis, but money will be charged for additional features (i.e. digital goods). This strategy will allow Chudo to compete with other apps for the usage of basic messaging functionalities while, at the same time, enable a viable revenue model.
Chudo is developed by Magic Unicorn, an award-winning venture studio specializing in the mobile artificial intelligence and augmented reality spaces. Chudo’s team members include startup founders, early XR advocates, machine learning specialists, and developers from a diverse range of backgrounds.
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About Magic Unicorn
Magic Unicorn is a New York based venture studio. The company builds software primarily in the mobile artificial intelligence and augmented reality spaces. Its products and achievements include Chudo (Shorty Awards Winner for “Best Use of Artificial Intelligence”), Magic (Apple awarded as “Best of 2017”, part of Hasbro's Transformers marketing campaign) and MakeApp (1.5 million users and 1,500 media mentions).
Chudo, Magic Unicorn Inc.