• My Virtual Head Would Look Great On Your Virtual Body! Gizmoz Merges With Daz 3D

    Since Israeli startup Gizmoz launched three years ago, people have used its technology to create millions of 3D-realistic avatar heads from photos of themselves. But what good is a head without a body? Gizmoz found a body—lots of them, actually—in a Utah-based company called Daz 3D. The two companies are merging. Existing investors, led by Benchmark Capital, Highway 12… Read More

  • Virtual Worlds Are So Hot Right Now: $345 Million Invested So Far This Year

    I feel like today is Virtual World Day. We started off the morning covering the public beta launch of Vivaty, then Second Life and IBM announced that they bridged two virtual worlds, and Google launched its own version of virtual worlds with Lively. If it seems like everybody is starting their own virtual world, it is because they are. A report put out today by Virtual Worlds Management… Read More

  • Oddcast to Let You Put Your Face on a Movie Star's

    Just days after competitor Gizmoz announced more funding and AIM integration, Oddcast is previewing a new service called 3D Videostar that will let users import their faces into movie clips to replace those of movie stars. There’s no word yet on when this service will be available, but Oddcast has provided us with a few sample videos to get a sense of what it’ll be like (they… Read More

  • Gizmoz Raises $6.5M from Japan's DoCoMo; Integrates with AIM

    GizMoz, provider of fun technology that can turn your 2D image and recorded voice into a talking 3D character, is growing up and moving into the Asian market. The Israeli company, which we first covered in December 2006, has raised $6.5M in Series B financing from a round led by DoCoMo Capital, a subsidiary of the largest cell phone operator in Japan. The money and its budding relationship… Read More

  • JibJab Has Our Number JibJab has obviously figured out that pasting our pictures onto a video is a sure fire way to get a link from us. Here’s the latest, although I still like Gizmoz’s effort a lot more. Nice to see Om Malik doing the moves so soon after his hospital visit. :-) CrunchBase Information JibJab Gizmoz Information provided by CrunchBase Read More

  • Insert Your 3D Avatar Into Movie Clips. All The Cool Kids Do It.
    Get your own at If you like putting yourself into movie clips with JibJab, you’ll like this new product from Gizmoz, too. Unlike JibJab, which takes a still 2D image and moves only the mouth up and down, Gizmoz has developed proprietary technology to create a 3D facial image and includes various expression changes as well… Read More

  • TV Coverage For Dancejam, Realius and Gizmoz At TechCrunch40 Three TechCrunch40 demo pit startups got local bay area television coverage last week – Dancejam (note: I’m an investor), Realius and Gizmoz. It looks like the reporter did the easy thing – a swing by the demo pit to film the best looking startups. Congrats to all three. Read More

  • The Gizmoz/Taco Bell Ad The ad above, featuring people who applied to be in it via a special Taco Bell/Gizmoz contest that ran last month, was played at the MTV Music Awards this evening. The ad is sort of standard mainstream media stuff complete with carefully diversified (sexually and ethnically) winners, but it’s a great… Read More

  • Taco Bell, Avatars, and the Decline of Western Civilization

    When Nero looked out over the ruins of Rome, he must have seen something like the TV Me! promotion from Taco Bell. The Bell, creators of the Fourthmeal and purveyors of food for the stoned, has an open casting call for customers to appear in its co-branded spots during the MTV Video Music Awards. Before you go get your hair done, however, the casting call is for 3D avatars created using Gizmoz… Read More

  • Gizmoz To Get Mainstream Attention At MTV Music Awards

    Gizmoz, an Israeli startup that allows people to create realistic 3D cartoon avatars of themselves and embed them on other websites, will be getting a little mainstream attention at the upcoming MTV Music Awards in September. On Monday, MTV, Taco Bell and Gizmoz will jointly announce a new website and promotion: users will go to and create a fifteen second audition of… Read More

  • Gizmoz Launches – Create Your Talking 3D Avatar

    I first wrote about Israeli widget site Gizmoz in December 2006. At the time, the company hadn’t launched its product to create personalized widgets using users’ pictures and voice, but they had a working demo. Today, the product launches for everyone to use. Gizmoz is also announcing a $6.3 million Series A funding round from Benchmark Capital and Columbia Capital and… Read More

  • Crazy 3D Avatars From Gizmoz

    I first met Eyal Gever, the founder of Gizmoz, at the Israeli Web Tour conference in Palo Alto a couple of months ago. Later that day I saw Eyal again, at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. This time he was giving a demo (in the middle of a hallway) to a group of Fox Interactive folks, including their M&A team. I sat in on the demo, which went on for half an hour or more as the Fox… Read More