Ever since Qwiki won the last TechCrunch Disrupt in September, it’s been working on an iPad app. In fact, one of its overexcited developers showed me a peek back then. Well, it’s come along way since then, and Qwiki is currently working on the finishing touches before submitting a real app to the iTunes store sometime in the next few weeks.
Qwiki founder and CEO Doug Imbruce dropped by my office today to give me a preview. Of course, I tried to get it on video, but he wouldn’t show me a demo on camera. But he did talk about it, and you can see what the main screen looks like in the video above.
In many ways, Qwiki was built for the iPad. It is an information consumption service that animates Wikipedia text-to-speech summaries with images and photos from across the Web. The user interface naturally lends itself to swiping through the animated Qwikis and taking “information consumption off the desktop.”
The iPad app will also have “a very interesting geography feature,” Imbruce hints. I’ll let you guess what it is. But Imbruce is a big believer that “location is one of the most important signals of the next decade.” Given the recent $1 million investment in the company by the founders of Groupon (estranged Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is also an investor), perhaps Qwiki can find a way to tap into its rich database of local businesses and local Groupons. (Wait, is that the beginnings of a business model I see?) Imbruce also talks about why he moved the company from New York City to San Francisco (recruiting engineers).
And just for fun, let’s see that backstage video from Disrupt of the original iPad prototype.