Student designer secures investment for iPhone app Summly

The Summly application could become the next must-have for students. Its teenage creator has secured a large investment for future development.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

British teenager Nick D'Aloisio, designer of the 'Summly' app, has secured investment with a Hong-Kong based company.

Summly is an iPhone application that summarises and simplifies the content of web pages. Advertised as 'a simple way to browse the web', the 16-year old found inspiration for the app while studying for a history exam.

D'Aloisio found the current search options available online as inefficient, and this provoked the idea for the iPhone app. The developer said:

"I thought that what I needed was a way of simplifying and summarising these web searches. Google has Instant Preview but that is just an image of the page. What I wanted was a content preview."

Li Ka-Shing, of Horizons Ventures, is the Chinese billionaire who ranks as one of the wealthiest people in the world. He has invested $250,000 (£159,000) in to the Summly project.  Previous investments have included Facebook, Spotify and Skype.

Before founding Summly, the teenage developer created Facemood, a service which used algorithms to determine the mood of Facebook users, and SongStumblr, a geosocial music discovery service.


(Source: Summly)

Summly has currently been optimised for 11 languages, and boasts 30,000 downloads since its release in mid-December. There are plans to tweak the app to become suitable for Android models early next year, as well as development of an online web version.

As an application for university or college students, this could be the future way to find and process information for studies quickly and effectively.

Although tools like Google give us access to incredible amounts of information instantaneously, it can be difficult to find suitable material -- or extremely easy to become distracted.

By using Summly, it offers a new way to quickly scan summarised text and decide if that is the content you need to pursue. For those among us who leave revision until the last minute or pull an all-nighter finishing the essay due the next day, it could become one of the must-have applications you keep on your smartphone dashboard.

I'll be looking forward to the Android release.

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