California-based startup Asterpix next week will debut a service that allows users to create interactive videos with embedded hyperlinks for navigating into and out of objects.
The service, which has been in beta for the past three months, works similarly to hypertext where objects in videos, such as people, places, or locations, become clickable links that guide people to other content.
To let users known that there's an embedded link in a video Asterpix has created "hot spots," or markers represented as a flashing circle or a dotted rectangle, that allow users to navigate through the video and get information on objects displayed on the screen.
The hypervideos can be embedded into other Web sites, blogs, and e-mail. Bloggers, for example, can link their blog entries to parts of a video to tell a better story.
Additionally, Asterpix supplies the hypervideo browser that includes a location bar, "forward" and "back" buttons, history, selectable hot spot markers, and fast access to hot spots in video. The browser also comes with a "share" button that lets users share hypervideos or link to specific scenes within a video.
"In the months since we launched our beta offering, we have found that interactive videos are great for sports where everyone wants to be John Madden and scribble their notes on screen; great for "how to" videos where the viewer can drill-down on the links for more information; for travel videos where viewers want to follow their own itineraries; and so on," wrote Nat Kausik, Asterpix's CEO, in his blog.
From the beta trial, Asterpix found that users interacted with hot spots 70% of the time and clicked on the hot spots to navigate to other content 20% of the time, according to Kausik. The beta users have created more than a thousand hypervideos using Asterpix.
Asterpix doesn't require the installation of desktop software or offline production tools. It's a free Web application supplied by the startup that lets anyone create hypervideos from YouTube, MySpace, DailyMotion, ESPN, Google, and other video sources. Earlier this week, Asterpix also launched a hypervideo application for popular social networking site, Facebook.
The service will officially launch next Monday at Asterpix.com.
Asterpix was founded in October 2006 and is financed by venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. So far, Asterpix has received $4 million in venture funding from the group.