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Showcase: ChangingWorlds

Using patented technology to build subscriber profiles based on user behaviour and usage patterns to make finding relevant content faster and requiring less clicks



  • 2008: Inaugural winner of the Irish Technology Leadership Group/Irish Times Innovation Award
  • 2008: Winner of the Engineers Ireland, CPD Company of the Year Award
  • 2008: Irish Software Association – Company of the Year Award.
  • 2007: Ranked 8th in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards

More about ChangingWorlds

Ask any marketer where the current wave of action is coming from and you’ll quickly learn that it’s all up close and personal. So, when Professor Barry Smyth and his then PhD student, Paul Cotter developed the award-winning ClixSmart personalisation engine as part of an extensive research programme in UCD’s School of Computer Science and Informatics they quickly realised the commercial potential of their suite of inventions and soon their spin-out company, ChangingWorlds, was on the “must watch” list among the mobile portal providers.

The patented technology behind ChangingWorlds automatically builds subscriber profiles based on user behaviour and usage patterns to make finding relevant content faster and requiring less clicks.

The innovation lies in the fact that the user doesn’t even have to explicitly say what they are interested in. The software automatically learns what they want.  For example, a sports enthusiast will see the link to latest information about his favourite football team on his home page, while a classical music fan will see the link to the upcoming concerts in his area.

From humble beginnings in 1999 when Barry and Paul participated on NovaUCD’s Campus Company Development Programme, ChangingWorlds went on to occupy incubation space in the Campus Innovation Centre. Quickly outgrowing this space the company moved to South Dublin Business Park in Leopardstown. In 2005 ChangingWorlds opened an Advanced Research Centre in NovaUCD facilitating greater co-operation and collaboration between its team of highly-qualified software engineers and UCD computer science researchers in building a pipeline of advanced personalization technologies for the mobile telecommunications industry.

Since it was founded, ChangingWorlds rolled out its ClixSmart™ Intelligent Mobile Portal platform to over 50 mobile network operators worldwide, including Vodafone Global Group, O2 Ireland and Germany, TeliaSonera, Celcom Malaysia, Hong Kong CSL and Sprint, USA.

In November 2008, Amdocs, the US-quoted technology company (NYSE: DOX), and the leading provider of customer experience systems acquired ChangingWorlds for €47 million ($60 million). Amdocs ChangingWorlds currently employs over 100 highly-qualified staff in Ireland, based in offices in Sandyford and NovaUCD.

Among the product range now marketed by Amdocs in the ChangingWorlds range is the Mobile Internet Bridge, a sophisticated toolbar that provides intuitive navigation support to users while browsing off-portal. As they explore, the toolbar guides users and provides links to both on- and off-portal content that matches their content preferences and behavioral profile. A link back to the mobile portal is always at hand, encouraging users to return to where they can be targeted with personalized content recommendations and advertising.  The longer a customer browses for data, the more revenue opportunities are created for the portal provider.

Similarly, the Amdocs ChangingWorlds Ad Personalizer matches ads to subscriber interests and behavior, in order to deliver highly targeted and relevant ads.  Sending the right advertisement to the right people at the right time is the key to successful mobile advertising.  

Barry Smyth puts his entrepreneurial success down to keeping an eye on trends and predicting the markets they will impact. He also enjoys the creative side of business, and believes scientists should start applying their minds to the market early on.  He encourages innovators to see commercialisation as a scientific problem rather something to be bolted on later after the technology is developed.


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