Ananova was a UK news search engine developed by PA Media, a UK news agency and launched in April 2000. Already in July 2000 it was taken over by the British mobile service provider Orange. In addition to the website, Ananova was also offered for WAP and PDA. Ananova had a computer-simulated newscaster of the same name who read the news. In 2004 the newscaster was hired, but the website continued to offer news. In 2010 the website was renamed Orange News.
|Country of Origin||UK|
|2000 - 2000||PA Media|
|2000 - 2010||Orange|
|Real Time Search
Text to speech
Targeted Web Spider
|Older Version||Internet Archive / WebCite|
|Wikipedia (2015): »Ananova was a Web-oriented news service that originally featured a computer-simulated newscaster as an embodied agent named Ananova programmed to read newscasts to users 24 hours a day. Ananova became a subsidiary of mobile telecommunication operator Orange SA, after it was purchased from the Press Association (PA) in a £95m deal in 2000, after which it was merged into the Orange main news site.
The character of Ananova was given a distinctive look and personality based on celebrities Victoria Beckham, Kylie Minogue, and Carol Vorderman. She appeared as a white female with a thin toned body. Ananova sported short "unnaturally green" hair and was always seen in make-up. Her creators described her as a 28-year-old "girl about town" who stands at 173 cm (5.7 ft) tall and loves the band Oasis and the TV show The Simpsons. Ananova's creators stated the original incarnation of the character was a prototype, and in the future they intended "to allow every individual to customize Ananova, right down to age, race and gender.” The character was launched in April 2000 from a press conference in London. A significant portion of Ananova's official website was dedicated to detailed fictions regarding the characters personality.
The animated Ananova character was unavailable from 2004, though the Ananova website was still operational and providing written news items until 2009. In April 2010 Orange decided to scrap the name Ananova. Users entering the site ananova.com are now redirected to a Web Hosting Service Directory.
Between April 2010 and April 2015 Ananova was known as Orange News. The Orange version of the news service finished with the end of Orange on-line identity.
The Ananova news service was well known for its collection of unusual news stories, which it featured in its Quirkies section.« Source|
|Wikipedia (2019): »The character Ananova was retired in 2004, but the website continued to provide written news articles until 2009 and then was relaunched in December 2018 by former staff and contributors.« Source|
|TheScreamOnline: »The technical challenge for Ananova's developers initially was how to engineer a fully-animated 3D character capable of creating dynamically-generated news bulletins in a style and tone appropriate to specific pieces of content. To create Ananova's voice, text-to-speech synthesis software from Lernout & Hauspie (L&H;) was integrated with Ananova's real-time information systems. Feedback from the L&H; Realspeak generates the automatic lip-synching on her face. This ensures that her words are almost indistinguishable from human speech. In-depth, language-specific linguistic knowledge provides intelligent pronunciation and allows text to be read by a human-sounding voice.
Using technology supplied by RealNetworks, Ananova is seen in the form of on-demand streaming video. RealNetworks was selected to support Ananova's real-time bulletins with its RealSystem R G2 technology. Streamed through the RealPlayer R, Ananova offers more than 115 million unique registered worldwide users of RealPlayer a new way to access news and information.« Source|
|Ahmad Nadeem Syed: »Ananova is a Web-oriented news service that features a computer-simulated animation of a woman newscaster, named "Ananova," who has been programmed to "read" newscasts to Web users. Described as "the world's first virtual newscaster," Ananova, the animation, is really a novel user interface to a Web service that allows users to receive customized news. Ananova can be requested to: (1) Read a two-minute newscast summary, (2) Read a customized newscast based on selected preferences, (3) Give you selected sports scores and weather information as it develops, (4) Alert you by e-mail when a story you're interested in becomes available and (5) Periodically scan a targeted group of Web sites and notify you of new changes. Ananova combines live Web newscasting from an animated "talking head" with intelligent agent service. The animation is described by her designers as 28 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and with a "pleasant, quietly intelligent manner."« Source|
|»We've named our company after our most famous creation, Ananova, who is recognised by Guinness World Records as the world's first virtual newscaster.« Source|
Features & Functionality
|See also Orange News: Source|