Beating 6 other finalists at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference on 29 September 2010, Qwiki was named the winner of the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield Award, taking away the handsome cash price of U$50,000. Since then, this little gem has begun to sparkle and caught the eyes of many admirers. The New York Times commented that Qwiki is “…a seed that will blossom into another Internet wonder.”
As at March 2011, Qwiki has received a total of U$10.5 million in funding from many venture capitalists including Eduardo Saverin (co-founder of Facebook), Jawed Karim (co-founder, YouTube), Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky (co-founder, Groupon), Pradeep Sindhu (co-founder, Juniper Networks) and many more. Some other developments include:
Apple – 2011 iPad App of the year under the Search & Reference category, with ~ 1 million downloads
ABC News – Launched a dedicated ABC News Qwiki channel that contains Qwikis on a variety of topics, including politics, technology, entertainment, and travel.
Bing Searches – Qwikis will now appear on millions of Bing search results.
Qwiki Creator – Qwiki Aims To Turn Everyone into a Multimedia Storyteller.
Qwiki (pronounced as quicky), labelled as a disruptive new technology platform, is basically an informative slideshow with voice-over contents pulled directly from Wikipedia with some 3,000,000 search terms indexed to-date. The interesting thing is that the contents are assembled not by humans but technology.
As a background information search tool, it provides a good overview especially when you are dealing with some unfamiliar topic. It is a pretty helpful tool for Librarians to introduce to students as a starting point for research. After all, one is certainly more likely to watch a mini-documentary than to read pages of text as an intro. And I think the content will certainly get a lot more richer as more of Wiki’s content gets indexed into Qwiki.
Will it be the next Google? Let’s wait and see.