Fuisz Media: Envisioning a Different Kind of Interactive Video

/ Sep 18, 2013


The Fuisz Media website, at first glance, reads like a pamphlet given out by a mad scientist or someone who operates inside the base of an active volcano. It’s all very techy, the kind of language that causes much of the general public to enter a pseudo coma brought on by sheer confusion mixed with our own ignorance regarding things like “cutting-edge computer vision technology.”

But unbeknownst to you or I, Fuisz Media, for all its tech jargon, is making incredible strides for the online video community. Inking a deal last month with ZEFR, Fuisz Media’s patented “pixel technology” has the chance to dramatically change how advertisers produce and monetize content on YouTube and other online video platforms.

Again, “pixel technology”: I know it sounds incomprehensible, so here is an abridged rundown of what it is straight from Fuisz CEO and founder, Justin Fuisz: “The brands select the people or things within a video and decide which action should occur on click. Our computer vision-based platform will automatically make the entire video interactive and those objects clickable throughout.”

So in other words: If you have a brand that is looking to interact with audiences directly via the video, then the Fuisz Media platform is what you’ll need. Essentially, through backend code, Fuisz can track a specific items in a video then place a hovering “element” over said item. Like a shirt Brad Pitt is wearing in a trailer? Well you’re in luck, if whoever makes the shirt is on board, Fuisz can place a link on or near the shirt, which will direct you to site where you can buy it.

In an article from TheWrap, Fuisz spoke about the partnership with ZEFR, saying: “This is a tool which gets brands excited about producing content for YouTube.” ZEFR clients like NASCAR, Sony Music, and Universal Pictures will have access to the technology, giving them another revenue stream on top of the other services ZEFR provides.

The origins of Fuisz, much like the company’s endless scroll webpage, are vaguely mysterious. A cursory search for Fuisz Media yields a CNET article in which Fuisz and its technology is briefly mentioned after a well-received showing at Stanford’s “Cool Product Expo.”

However, speaking with Fuisz, the company’s origins are far less mysterious than one would be led to believe — although they are still buried in some fairly heavy tech-speak. “I looked at why other companies had failed in this vision, and set about building the blueprint for a company that could leverage a complementary field of knowledge (Computer Vision) to solve the pain points of widespread interactive video,” explains Fuisz.

“Vision” is a huge selling point among Fuisz Media’s technology as seen in the below “blogilates” example. Through this technology, viewers are able to click on the “call to action,” which directs them to a main page where they can shop “blogilate” host Cassey Ho’s wardrobe.

If this pixel technology sounds like YouTube’s annotations, it’s because they are in some ways similar. Annotations allow for viewers to click on a call to action like “Subscribe here” or “buy merch here” as well. However, using the “blogilates” example again, pixel technology diverges from simple annotations through its ability to dynamically move with Ho.

When asked about the difference between YouTube annotations and pixel technology, Fuisz explained that “Fuisz Media annotations are dynamically linked, and are able to follow the objects they are associated with throughout the video.” He went on to add: “because of this they generate unheard of levels of engagement within the videos — something brands are really excited about.”

Understanding what Fuisz does is really a matter of breaking down their technology, which to the layman can be described as “annotations that can move and track a target.” Of course, the technology behind all of that is far more complicated than you or I could hope to understand without a masters in engineering. But Fuisz doesn’t want you to worry about that. According to him, Fuisz Media has it all covered. “We take video and use robot vision to make the videos clickable and interactive. Relax. Let our algorithms do the work.” I don’t know about you, but I’m going to trust him on this one.

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