Intelligent Assistance Inc.
— a developer of real-time, intelligent multimedia coaching and support tools for digital media artists and content creators — has announced
Assistance on Demand, an online, on-demand service that provides digital media artists and content creators with point-of-need product support and technical guidance in real time.
Built on an e-commerce platform, Assistance on Demand lets you purchase expert support and guidance in the form of streaming video clips or text, as you need it when you need it and on the topic you need at any given time — and all this in real time. You can also participate in live classes that incorporate live streaming, movie push and Instant Messaging for a full-featured classroom experience. All these leverage the Assistance on Demand floating interface that’s accessible on your desktop.
Some of the support and guidance offered will cover Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, LiveType (Apple’s software that enables users to create titles for their video projects), Boris FX, Boris Graffiti, Boris RED, Cleaner and After Effects.
“Our goal with Assistance on Demand is to create an open, point-of-need system where expert guidance and knowledge building tools can be aggregated and made available to the rapidly growing universe of digital media artists and content creators,” Philip Hodgetts, president and CEO of Intelligent Assistance, told MacCentral. “People buy books and videos, but are they are largely unread and unwatched. People forget most of what they learn in training courses unless they’re put into practice within 36 hours. And many people are reluctant to use new, unfamiliar software.”
With Assistance on Demand, you can purchase support content, product feature guidance and creative intelligence on-demand and in real time, beginning at US$0.25 for simple How2s (how-to’s) or up to $9.95 for detailed, in-depth tutorials on more complex issues, such as reconstructing visual effects-intensive, multi-layer digital media projects.
“The goal is to provide one single, seamless system for all knowledge needs that can be purchased in whatever method you require,” Hodgetts said.
To provide this level of support, Assistance on Demand is comprised of three components; the user interface, the back end infrastructure, and content provider tools. For an initial account set up charge of $1, you get an immediate $2 credit and can begin searching for and purchasing support content on demand. Using the Assistance on Demand floating interface, digital media artists can search for a help topic based on the specific feature of the content creation application they’re using.
Options for quick How2s, video tutorials and explanations relevant to your question appear on a menu, complete with pricing for each help item. You choose the specific help item you need; expert assistance relevant to the topic on hand appears in the floating interface and within the digital media application. You don’t have to leave the application to get help.
Upon selecting and confirming the help item needed, the request is logged in the Assistance on Demand database for invoicing and your credit card is charged at the end of the month. You receive a monthly summary of charges via e-mail; you can check the status of your account at any time from within the Assistance on Demand interface.
In addition to providing access to the content available from Intelligent Assistance, the company has developed a set of Content Provider Tools that enable experts throughout the digital media field to contribute technical, creative and troubleshooting content. Any content developer will be able to add content to the Assistance on Demand system, Hodgetts said.
Content Provider Tools will include an interface for uploading content, setting pricing and availability. Intelligent Assistance provides content providers with detailed instructions on formatting content for integration with existing content in the Assistance on Demand infrastructure. The company also provides details on how to avoid duplicating content that may already exist in the Assistance on Demand system. Content is reviewed and approved by Intelligent Assistance before it’s made available to end users.
With Assistance on Demand, the better your bandwidth, the better service you’ll get. However, it’s designed to offer a “satisfactory experience” for dial-up users, said Hodgetts.
In the future, Intelligent Assistance plans to add the ability to purchase plug-ins and other add-ons from the service. You’ll also be able to search the Internet and to summarize and derive keywords for course building. Also planned for the future is the capacity to: build custom courses compiled from “learning objects”; test and track competency; and integrate tech support functions.