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22.02.16

Cebit 2016: Saarland University startup presents innovative visualization platform for online media

Not only private users, but also many company employees today simultaneously communicate on various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Youtube. Uvibo, a startup funded by the Saarbrücken IT Incubator, addresses this with a customized visualization platform. The newly developed software automatically rates all new posts in terms of relevance to the user, and rearranges them in an overview so that the most important contributions are immediately visible. The founders are presenting their prototype and matching business model for companies for the first time at the Cebit computer fair in Hannover from March 14 to 18 (Hall 6, Stand D 28).

“We are subject to more and more information, and have less and less time to process it”, says Philipp Adamidis, a student of business administration at Saarland University. Together with experienced software developer Yevgeny Sadovsky, he is working to change this for online media in particular. The team is developing a sophisticated visualization platform that assembles Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, and news items on one single screen. New posts are evaluated by how often other users have shared them, for instance, or by how relevant their topic is to the user, and then arranged accordingly.

Their current prototype demonstrates the principle using the online messaging platform Twitter, where users publish, assess and share posts by the second. The technology the students developed assembles all current items on one screen, similar to sticky notes on a pin board. But the rectangles that frame the individual texts and images have different sizes. The largest one is placed in the top left corner of the screen. At present, that is an item by a finance news agency, predicting box office records for a new comic book adaptation. “That means our system has evaluated this article as the most relevant, since it’s the one most frequently read and forwarded by Twitter users”, Adamidis explains. “The more people are involved, the faster the respective contents will move from the lower right to the top left corner, thereby increasing in size.” Accordingly, less important contributions are displayed as smaller rectangles in the bottom right corner of the screen. “This way you can simply leave the page open and watch the board. New information becomes visible without having to move the mouse or refresh the page”, says Adamidis.

Individual users can also position contents themselves. The founders-to-be then want to use calculation methods from the field of machine learning in order to develop more accurate trend analyses, but also to ensure that users only see the contents that really interests them. Adamidis and his team are also thinking about customized advertising. “If a news item is growing very fast, a promotional item could be moved into the vicinity, so that its contents is ideally promoted. Labeled with a small caption, this wouldn’t interfere with the organic structure”, Adamidis says.

The two founders called their software “Uvibo”. The abbreviation stands for “Universal Visualization Board”. Adamidis: “Universal, because our board can be used in all kinds of contexts. It makes no difference whether it is integrated into a news website, a monitor in a waiting room, or a trade fair display.” The team is planning to found a company to promote the visualization platform in June this year. Therefore the on-campus IT Incubator has already been supporting them since August 2015. Preliminary talks with a respected international publisher are already taking place, and contacts with a major German publishing house are also at hand.

Background: The IT Incubator at Saarland University

The IT Incubator aims to make interesting research results from the world-famous computer science institutes on the Saarland University and Max Planck Society campus applicable for business and industry, and transform them into regional enterprises, products or licenses for these new technologies. The IT Incubator was founded for that purpose in November 2013 as a public research institution with the legal form of a GmbH (limited liability company). The IT incubator is funded by the Saarland federal government, the Saarland University and the Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH. Its shareholders are the technology transfer organization Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH, and the knowledge and technology transfer company of Saarland University, WuT GmbH.

Further Information:

Uvibo website: http://tweaky.io/start
IT Incubator: http://itinkubator.de

Press photos can be found here: www.uni-saarland.de/pressefotos
    
Media Inquiries:
Philipp Adamidis
Uvibo
Phone: +49 173 8540899
E-Mail: philipp.adamidis@itinkubator.de

Editor:
Gordon Bolduan
Competence Center Computer Science Saarland
Phone: +49 681 302-70741
E-Mail: bolduan@mmci.uni-saarland.de

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