Adobe is out with a new tool that it hopes will be used by businesses to tell their stories. The free iPad app, called Adobe Voice, allows a user to quickly assemble a video with recorded voice, music, graphics and animation.
No videotaping or editing is required. In announcing the release on Thursday, Adobe said the new tool "is ideal for creative professionals prototyping a project, nonprofits championing a cause, small business owners connecting with customers or students looking to create an interactive and engaging school report."
The resulting animated video, which utilizes the company's Create Cloud platform, can be shared through social media, e-mail, blogs or Web sites via a link, and the company said it can be viewed on almost any device. The app is designed for iPad 2 or above, and iOS7, plus the user needs a free Adobe ID to publish the videos.
'Hands of the Masses'
Winston Hendrickson, vice president of products at Adobe, said in a statement that Voice "puts the power of Creative Cloud's industry-leading video and audio technology into the hands of the masses." He added that the company is hoping the tool will help to attract "many new users to Adobe."
Users create the voice narration, one recorded sentence at a time, and then they add images and transitions on top of the voice. Music can be automatically added. Story "starters" and sample animated videos are available as part of the app, and a story idea "wheel" provides prompts for suggested structure as soon as the user starts to build a presentation.
Adobe has made available a library of more than 25,000 professionally-designed icons and millions of images online, or users can employ their own photos or graphics. The end result is a 60- to 90-second video that Adobe said can be created in a matter of minutes. The differentiator is intended to be the easy addition of voice, so that presentations can turn into personalized stories, even for business uses.
Adobe said the graphics engine is "inspired" by its professional After Effects tool. It automatically applies graphics to the story-in-progress in real time, such as motion blur, 3D, shadows and other effects.
'Beaten the Odds'
There are also animated themes to add effects, transitions and stylistic approaches, such as an animated watercolor mode that makes images look like they're being painted on the screen, and a chalkboard drawing style.
A variety of music selections are automatically added to, and balanced with, the recorded voice. When images or music are added, their credits are automatically added to the end of the video. As the app is free, the business model is not yet clear, but one expects Adobe will add premium paid features at some point, such as additional capabilities or added storage.
Brad Shimmin, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, told us that Adobe "is a company that has beaten the odds for someone of their stature" to have successfully made the transition to being primarily a cloud-based company. As a result, he said, Adobe is "able to take a chance on software like this, that isn't yet part of an established marketplace."