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With STEPVR, making AI-generated videos is as easy as creating PowerPoint presentation


Dr Guo Cheng, President at STEPVR

According to STEPVR, video creation plays a pivotal role for businesses and professionals in conveying information in this era of the internet and short videos. However, the existing video production processes are often tedious, costly, and time-consuming, making them inaccessible to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

AI-based video creation tools are supposed to be helpful for this, but challenges remain.

“Existing AI video technologies have primarily excelled in isolated areas, generating short dynamic scenes from a single image or crafting creative videos based on textual descriptions. Regrettably, these technologies often remain ‘novel and interesting,’ struggling to find practical applications,” says STEPVR President Dr Guo Cheng in an email interview with e27.

To tackle that problem, STEPVR developed a Generative AI-powered video generation platform to make video production as simple as creating a slide presentation for businesses. It can even create digital avatars that verbally articulate a written script in a selected Southeast Asian language.

“We are committed to reverse engineering the entire spectrum of AI technologies essential for video production and seamlessly integrating them into a genuinely practical product. Unlike other solutions, our AI video generation tool is lightweight, allowing users to effortlessly create talking-head videos akin to producing a PowerPoint presentation—making the process more efficient, concise, and tailored to individual needs.”

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STEPVR currently has 10 core members involved in its AI project and is planning to expand its team further.

The company was part of the AI Trailblazers initiative, Singapore’s first Generative AI Innovation Sandboxes established to accelerate the development of generative AI solutions that address organisations’ real-world challenges. The initiative is part of MCI, DISG, and Google Cloud’s strategic collaboration to bolster the country’s National AI Strategy.

To learn more about STEPVR, check out this edited excerpt of our interview with Dr Guo Cheng:

Can you tell us a bit about your product development journey? How did you come up with the idea and concept?

During the surge in Generative AI technologies, STEPVR actively explored solutions for AI-generated videos. However, the exorbitant cost of developing large models led the team to a pivotal realisation. Generic AI video tools had become the “Colosseum” of industry giants, unsuitable for startups and small to medium-sized enterprises. To thrive, STEPVR needed to identify niche demands and carve out a path towards commercial viability.

At that moment, as the team meticulously organised product information through PowerPoint, a groundbreaking idea emerged. What if they could create a promotional video by employing a similar approach? This could circumvent the traditional processes of scripting, shooting, recording, editing, and post-production effects, liberating productivity entirely.

Moreover, this demand was necessary for startups, sales professionals, business executives, and office workers. An AI-generated high-quality video had the potential to make their products or companies stand out, with a strong willingness to pay for such a service.

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In a remarkably short period, STEPVR established a web-based AI video tool. This tool seamlessly integrates elements such as digital spokespersons, material images and videos, copywriting, logos, and AI-generated images, focusing on producing enterprise-level promotional or personal introduction videos.

How do you envision your product will be in the next few years?

Our vision is to build a substantial base of paying users globally in the future, with a stellar reputation, genuinely serving the branding needs of SMEs and individuals. Simultaneously, we aim to liberate the productivity of more video producers, providing a valuable service to the broader community.

Who are your users? How do you acquire them?

In the initial phase, STEPVR is targeting SMEs with a user base of several hundred people, aiming to secure initial funding through collaborations with corporate clients. Simultaneously, there are plans to advance the development of the personal edition of our product.

As the parent company primarily engaged in metaverse VR, wearable devices, and robotics, STEPVR’s parent company has accumulated several years of experience with its global sales team and clientele. In the AI product line, STEPVR is confident in leveraging its existing channels to acquire its initial user base.

Additionally, the team will continue participating in major AI competitions and presentations. Furthermore, efforts will be made to establish a communication matrix on social media platforms both domestically and internationally, ensuring that more users become acquainted with STEPVR’s products and expanding its influence.

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What is your business model?

We aim to initiate our exploration with a B2B model, subsequently advancing our product lines into B2C. We are open to capital infusion throughout this process to fuel further development and investment.

Globally, Singapore is one of the most promising countries regarding AI implementation. Is there any specific opportunity that you want to tap into here?

Singapore will serve as the overseas data centre for STEPVR’s AI video products. The region is conducive to the high-tech industry and boasts a significant pool of potential users. The team identified a substantial business opportunity during the initial market research phase. Many SMEs in Southeast Asian countries lack localised and customised AI video generation tools.

Simultaneously, they find it challenging to afford off-the-shelf AI tools from Western markets. This presents STEPVR with a tremendous business opportunity.

What is the role of partnership in helping you grow your business?

During the recently concluded AI Trailblazer Accelerator programme, a joint initiative by the Singapore government and Google, STEPVR’s product received substantial support.

With Google providing cloud computing services and guidance from its technical team, STEPVR enhanced its product’s user experience significantly. Looking ahead, STEPVR is committed to ongoing collaboration with its partners, continuously refining the product to deliver improved services to its users.

What is your major plan for 2024?

We aim to have 100 enterprise-level users by the year 2024.

Image Credit: STEPVR

The post With STEPVR, making AI-generated videos is as easy as creating PowerPoint presentation appeared first on e27.



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