Watchup is putting the latest and breaking of the day’s news where you can’t miss it — right in front of your nose.
The “daily newscast” iPad app released Watchup for Glass today, which cofounder and CEO Adriano Farano said will bring “the newscast to the age of wearable devices.”
Glass wearers can scroll through headlines, watch videos, see photographs, and get article summaries while going about their daily life. The app features content from quality news sources such as the Associated Press, Reuters, PBS Newshour, the Wall Street Journal, and Euronews.
“Consuming news via wearables is part of the dematerialization of media consumption,” Farano said to VentureBeat. “We see Google Glass as part of that trend. It’s better for use cases like walking in the street. I also use Glass every morning while preparing my espresso at home — it’s great because it can be a hands-free experience.”
Watchup’s ultimate vision is to bring the “power” of video journalism to every screen. Glass wearers create personalized newscasts from 200 channels, and when they are ready to watch, the clips will run in a continuous sequence.
Watchup’s iPad app offers other types of related content as well, serving as a hybrid between video aggregators and newsreaders. People can read articles and browse for additional media while the videos are playing.
Farano hails from Italy and said his grandmother inspired this approach, which he has dubbed “lasagna design,” meaning each user can layer content and functionalities to their liking.
Watchup has attracted a lot of recognition since it launched — Apple featured it, and it won the coveted Knight News Challenge Award, ranked as a finalist at SXSW Interactive, and participated in StartX, the Stanford-affiliated accelerator program.
At the StartX Demo Day recently, Farano said that as a little boy he printed his own newspapers in Italy, and ever since has been passionate about making news as compelling and accessible as possible.
When Glass came out, he was excited by the opportunities and momentum it presented, and decided to leap frog over mobile apps and go straight to developing for Glass.
“Google Glass marks the beginning of the age of wearables that is going to disrupt the mobile industry in the long term for certain use cases,” Farano said. “Five years from now, bringing a phone in your pocket, taking it, opening your desired app, waiting for the content to be loaded is going to be seen as extremely outdated. Users will consume content and news on the go with apps like Watchup enjoying a minimal level of friction, wherever they want, when they want it.”
There is a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding Google Glass right now and its potential role as “the next iPhone.” When the first devices started to come out, people were skeptical about whether people would actually use them in daily life.
Developers, however, have been hard at work building a far-reaching range of applications to give this hot tech real-world appeal.
There are now Glass apps for surgeons in the operating room, drivers, networking, getting public transit information, shopping, foreign language translation, disaster relief, and even getting real-time baseball game stats.
Watchup wants to be the go-to glass app for news consumption. Glass Explorers can request to join the private beta at Watchupforglass.com. The public beta will be announced by the end of the year.