Crowd Media (ASX: CM8) expects to release the first commercial version of its talking head system by the end of March next year.
The news follows the company devoting the September quarter (Q1 FY2022) to cementing its technology and leadership.
During the period, Crowd finalised its research and development team, while strengthening its board with the appointments of Idan Schmorak as chief executive officer and Sytze Voulon as non-executive director.
Crowd noted that since Mr Schmorak started with the company on 20 September, it had already “shifted up a gear” in the development and commercialisation of the talking head technology.
Crowd also continued working with investee company and partner Aflorithmic Labs in Barcelona. Crowd is integrating its AI and Q&A Chatbox technology with Aflorithmic’s voice cloning capabilities.
An interesting development was the termination of a joint venture with VFR Holdings due to discoveries Crowd made within the research and development process. Crowd said the decision allowed it to “focus development efforts on new technologies” and its partnership with Aflorithmic, while leveraging its own intellectual property and understanding.
While Crowd advances its talking head technology, it has also started the creation of a proof of concept medical-assistive product for South African company PangeaMed under a partnership executed earlier this year.
The partnership paves the way for Crowd to integrate its Q&A conversational platform for PangeaMed.
Crowd’s talking head visual technology will also be used to develop a digital human version of a healthcare provider to interact with patients.
The commercial terms of the deal will be signed in the current quarter.
Financial update, 2022 outlook
Crowd closed out Q1 FY2022 with $2.33 million in the bank.
Cash used in operating activities was $133,000 for the period, which was a 57% improvement on the quarterly average during FY2021.
Other outgoings during the period comprised $460,000 for the second tranche of Crowd’s investment in Aflorithmic, with $153,000 spent on developing IP.
Meanwhile, Crowd’s non-core mobile subscription division continued to deliver profits.
“Crowd is entering 2022 with an improved operating cash flow and fresh wind in the sails on all fronts – on the development side, with a newly formed research and development team on agile development mode in order to roll out a first version of our talking head system,” Mr Schmorak said.
He added the company was focused on commercialisation and using its “cutting edge tech stack” to release its “light weight, fast, versatile” talking head system.
Mr Schmorak expects the technology will be deployed across various sectors and uses, which will expand its prospective client base.