Vagueness and Precision in Interactive Narrative

“Precision oftentimes kills the ability of the learner to discover multiple real-life applications.”

There have been a couple of follow up blog posts to the WIRED article entitled: IN PRAISE OF VAGUENESS.

One notable blog post is here:  VAGUE STORIES HELP LEARNERS DISCOVER.

This is very consistent with the responses we’re receiving from ESL teachers that note how our ESL conversational simulations allow vague and varied responses — they don’t encourage precision and fixed responses — they encourage conversational exploration.  We allow the vague. 

Please stop by our unit and try out the simulation/stories developed with the contentAI engine. 

The articles are worth reading, here’s another quote. . .

“Sometimes, precision is dangerous, a closed door keeping us from imagining new possibilities. Vagueness is that door flung wide open, a reminder that we don’t yet know the answer, that we might still get better, that we have yet to fail.”

Does this same “wide open door” deepen user engagement for mobile marketing and entertainment applications?

We’re guessing, “yes.”

Conversational ESL – our Unit Ramps Up

Our mLearning unit reach consumers in over 100 countries on over 140 mobile devices (just in the past month).  There’s a focus on certain markets where “conversational ESL” is clearly needed:

In looking at the China ESL market this past week the one big take-away was that despite being a $3-billion dollar/annual industry, people’s conversational skills are not being effectively addressed:

“At all levels very little class time is spent on everyday applications of English and conversation practice is rare. The result is students with a deep knowledge of grammatical rules who struggle to communicate…”

So, with over 100,000 teachers and an abundance of online learning tools and mobile tools (and a lot of money) – “Conversation” remains the leading problem.

The contentAI conversational engine and platform is ideally suited to address this need.  New simulations and a new user UX are in development to expand these efforts.

We like the cross-over between commercial, advertising, entertainment and mLearning — each vertical has nuanced needs, but, those solutions improve the platform for all verticals.  Understanding “conversation” still requires the human-touch, which is where zyntroPICS adds that blend of technology and human creativity to produce something uniquely valuable.

UPDATE:  For statistics on China and mobile, this was released this week:

Mobile Experiences — Keeping it Personal

This post from @gomonews caught our attention this morning:

With this line standing out in particular:

“People are experts at “humanizing” their devices, attributing human characteristics, moods and behaviors to their communications devices. Now, it’s nothing like the connection you have with an actual person. You can never feel as close to your phone as you can to a real person. But those feelings are there, even if they’re only faded reflections of the real thing. And I think that advertisers and marketers would be wise to pay heed to that…”

How does this apply to our mobile content and platform? – conversational mobile marketing and entertainment – conversational mobile simulations for mLearning

It’s about 2-way communication that’s PERSONALIZED.  For mBooks, each reading can be personalized by the user.  For mCoupons, a User gets a coupon for their personal needs, not a one size fits all.  For mLearning, it offers the safety of practicing learning with a virtual character in a personalized conversation.

Mobile and personalization = peanut butter and chocolate.  Yum.

ESL Conversational Apps now in Intel’s APPup Store

We have now released our “build once” conversational ESL apps on Intel’s APPup store for Windows devices.

Here’s are the Links:

APPup appear to have a strong commitment to educational content — We’re pleased to be flowing through their channel, in addition to mobile web, Android, and NOOK.

zyntroPICS will be at Ad:Tech San Francisco – Let’s Connect

Interested in connecting in person during Ad:Tech in San Francisco from 11-13 April 2011?

Want to learn more about conversational mobile marketing, entertainment and mLearning  from the team?  We’ll be showing some private Beta demos with new features and discussing how our integration with apps will further expand the platform.

Yes, most of the emphasis of attending is on the contentAI studios side of the coin with regard to mobile marketing and entertainment.  But, we’re also looking at mLearning relationships that can reach a significant number of International users.

Pop us an email and let’s connect.

Conversational Mobile Marketing, Entertainment and mLearning – Fresh Thinking…

[Reposted from]

We attended the MobilePortland gathering last night that addressed Mobile as a Platform for Change.

It was an unusual tech event for Portland, in our opinion, because it (a) thought bigger, (b) inspired outside of the box thought, and (c) was global in scope — local events don’t always hit those points.

But, it was also sobering.

For all of the potential of mobile, it also reinforced the notion that most people involved in mobile campaigns or initiatives are sadly lacking imagination.  The “shrink the internet” work that permeates this space was highlighted as delivering consistent failures.  The utopian advertising ideals of entirely rethinking how ad-dollars can truly add value to a brand and the human condition was refreshing…though I suspect it’s a tough road to travel.

There are signs of hope eeking through.  The effort for mobile English learning in Bangladesh that was highlighted by National Geographic here: that converges a television show with mobile learning (“transmedia” anyone?) is a terrific read.  For contentAI studios and, this article and the efforts in Bangladesh represent the original impetus for creating the platform — Extending television properties to interactive mobile engagement, based on the most intuitive form of mobile interaction:  short, conversational text messages.

Additionally, it ties in with he application of our  platform for mobile English language learning at:


  • 5 Billion Mobile Devices in the World
  • 1 Billion People engaged in some for of ESL learning
  • Advertising dollars shifting to Mobile which could add real value to people’s lives and support the Brand

How to tie this all together?

These are great ingredients, now it’s time to figure out the recipe.

contentAI studios and are imprints of zyntroPICS Inc.