Summly: iPhone App Delivers Bite-Sized News
A news summary app has been launched this week on the back a $1m investment from Horizons Ventures and celebrities like Stephen Fry and Yoko Ono.
Summly, created by the London-born, 17-year-old Nick D'Aloisio, pulls in articles from online sources and uses an algorithm to identify key points, turning them into 400-character bite-sized summaries.
"Proud to announce the launch of Summly," Nick wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter on Thursday, as the app became available for free on Apple's iPhone and iPod touch.
Nick taught himself to code at age 12.
He started developing the prototype after receiving his first investment - at age 15 - from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing's Horizons Ventures - an early investor in projects that have since become household names for millions of people, like Facebook and Spotify.
Those funds allowed Nick to create the Summly prototype, which generated widespread attention and fresh investment.
Along with Fry and Ono, investors and advisers today include Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga's business manager Troy Carter, and WordPress entrepreneur Matt Mullenweg, according to Summly's website.
Summly is also "working closely with News Corporation on the summarisation of their content", the website said.
Nick is at King's College School, where he received an academic scholarship, and his Twitter profile lists technology, design and typography among his interests.
Summly allows users to browse the news through categories such as sports or UK stories. Swiping sideways allows users to move between summaries, swiping down brings them to the original source's story.
The app has received praise from Arianna Huffington, creator of the Huffington Post websites, who called Summly "amazing" and its creator "brilliant".