As 2013 draws to a close, we look forward to a bright new year by sitting down with some of the tech industry’s brightest rising stars for a glimpse of where social innovation is headed. First up is Cinématique, a startup that is revolutionizing the way we watch and shop from online videos with their pioneering MTEVideo platform. Cinématique’s Sarah Slutsky shares the story behind the new technology, how the digital revolution has changed the way brands speak to consumers and where online shopping will be in 10 years.

Give us an overview of how Cinématique and MTEVideo works.

Cinématique has developed proprietary technology that tracks items/people/places in videos, enabling them to be touchable. We call this technology Motion Touch Enabled Video (MTEVideo). The idea behind it is to allow users to interact with videos through additional footage and behind the scenes information, and it seamlessly integrates the ability to shop. This allows for the monetization of viral video and enhances your ability to understand the success of a video through analytics connected to screen time/touches/click-through rate, and so forth.

Where did the idea for Cinématique come from?

Cinématique is the brainchild of our co-founders Randy Ross, Chayse Irvin and Kyle Heller. Filmmakers by trade, they were working to create a video fashion magazine for the iPad. As filming wrapped and editing commenced, they found themselves wishing they could reach out and literally touch on the people, clothes and things in the film. They wanted to be able to learn more and explore. It really was an “Aha!” moment that led them to build the technology that Cinématique is based on now.

How can brands harness Cinématique's technology to better connect with their audience?

What I love about the Cinématique platform is its ability to really connect with a viewer, allowing them to explore what interests them. When you have the ability to click on specific parts of a video, it changes everything. You can heighten brand awareness and allow users to shop directly from your content.

Brands using the Cinématique platform will be most successful when they take the time to create educational pieces that inform their audience of the value of their products and their brand identity. I believe a deeper level of engagement will result in a heightened sense of brand loyalty for the viewer. For brands, this means a greater return on investment and continued access to loyal customers.

How has technology changed the way brands speak to consumers?

With the world at our fingertips, consumers’ expectations have changed dramatically, and it’s now up to brands to keep up. I can be sitting in my apartment in New York and order shoes from India, a dress from Australia, a blouse from Peru, all while reading the news from my favorite French magazine—if a brand ceases to keep my interest, they’re old news. Technology is challenging brands to keep their consumers intrigued and loyal or else they are on to the next.

Where do you hope to see Cinématique in 10 years?

We hope that in 10 years, Cinématique will be a destination for "cool hunters." We will feature thought-provoking and beautiful film experiences backed with gratifying information at your touch. Cinématique will be integral to the way we shop and an expected part of the way we experience video. In 10 years, hopefully, when a person touches a video on screen and nothing happens, they’ll think it's broken!

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs that are looking to start their own business?

Be passionate about your idea—believe in it wholly, then listen, think, research and persevere.
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