What single adjective best describes Navigaya? Gorgeous? Stylish? Addictive? Having spent a few weeks playing with it, I’d have to concede, all of the above.
There really is just no way around it, Navigaya is one of the most mesmerizing content products I’ve seen in a while. Just watch the video demo above for a taste, or better yet, be one of the 1000 TechCrunch Readers to gain exclusive access and judge for yourself.
Designed completely in Flash, Navigaya’s intent is to immerse the user in a browsing experience that revolves around consuming content, specifically – for now – music. Six video engines are deployed to stream the music, or to be more accurate, the music videos: YouTube, Google Video, MetaCafe, Vimeo, MegaVideo and Navigaya’s own video engine, which natively supports 1080p streams. Video is streamed in HD quality when possible, but users can switch this off if the Flash player drives the CPU’s horses too hard (which may result in a choppy experience).
The user interface is quite rich and will take you a while to go through as you discover all the possibilities Navigaya has stitched together. Features include everything from drag-and-drop playlist creation to a browser (ensuring users don’t leave Navigaya for rudimentary Web surfing). There’s even a custom built-in Twitter app and video conferencing functionality with support for up to six simultaneous users.
Navigaya boasts a special ‘navicontent’ section which presents a full array of content, curated by the company’s editors. The section includes relevant news, video and supplemental content.
Navigaya’s offers a white-label version. This should work well for them, since not only does the interface have all the ingredients for a highly-engaging content experience for users, it also has all the hooks and product functionality to successfully tie-in the up-sale of music and video downloads, ring tones, concert tickets and merchandize. Navigaya’s backend is ready to hit the ground running with all functionality needed for such an offering. I can easily imagine MySpace Music or a future iteration of Spotify offer a Navigaya-based experience for their users, as an example.
To date, Navigaya has raised $800,000 from a private angel investor. The Israel-based team is already working on an HTML5 ‘mini’ version for iPhone & iPad.
We’ll follow-up with a full review once it’s out.