You go on vacation, spend a day with the kids, buckle down on a project, and suddenly you’re hopelessly behind on tech news. You could scan back through the pages of your favorite sites, but you’d have little way of knowing which stories were most important. Luckily, Israeli developer Briox has developed a data fusion technology that can surface the most relevant content from a firehose of sources. To show off the technology, it’s released the free Riversip Tech Reader iOS app, which lets users view the latest news, or just the biggest stories from that day or week. Briox hopes Riversip will attract more enterprise customers from health, finance and other verticals to pay for help managing information overload.
Riversip is designed to aid those not constantly wired in to other news reading solutions. Techmeme works perfect for me because I check it a dozen times a day for what’s important at that moment. If I take a break, though, I’m relegated to the archives that don’t indicate if a story was the biggest of the day or a less significant item. RSS readers are a mess if you don’t check them frequently, confronting you with an endless stack of headlines.
Riversip solves this by letting you choose a timeframe from which to show the most newsworthy articles. It defaults to latest, but users can toggle to view headlines of the day or week. Drilling into an article provides the full text or a link to read it through an in-app browser. A “More Coverage” button shows perspectives on the same news item from other outlets. Users may select topics to create a personalized summary, search for keywords, and share anything they find.
The quality of daily and weekly summaries are passable. Riversip picked out new about iOS 5.0.1, Adobe killing mobile flash, and iTunes Match that were indeed the biggest stories of the past week. It doesn’t always choose the most well written articles, though. At one point it picked Mashable as the source of the top 3 items of the week when more thorough write-ups existed. This is a deficiency of a purely algorithmic content curation engine that too heavily weights traffic and doesn’t include human editors like Techmeme.
Next, Briox plans to expand into consumer products for more news verticals, and strengthen its enterprise offering. Facebook’s news feed recently began showing the biggest stories since a user last logged in — a strong endorsement of content consumption systems like Riversip that take into account how frequently users visit. One day, people might be able to efficiently follow a wider set of news and interest topics by using data fusion-powered products like Riversip.