HTC calls for Zoe to handle its new path

HTC has a new plan to arrest its declines and it all centres around the name Zoe.

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The Taiwan-based smartphone company has quietly set up a new business unit focused on software and services, according to re/code, in order to diversify away from such a reliance on hardware.

HTC Creative Labs, as the unit is know, is comprised of 260 employees across HTC’s offices with the nerve centre in Seattle and staff also working in San Francisco and Taipei.

Drew Bamford, who has been head of HTC’s UI team for a number of years, heads up the team and re/code reports that he sees it as a “third act” for HTC, which was first responsible for building hardware for Compaq and Palm before changing to its own brand in 2006 and making phones.

The first product to come from the unit, Zoe, is a short video app built on software of the same name and HTC has already had the technology on its devices over the last couple of years and other Android devices will get it soon.

Zoe is a simple app that allows users to bring together up to 16 video clips and still images, select them, add music, and then create a highlight reel video of up to 30 seconds.

HTC eventually wants Zoe to become not just a video tool but a central console for viewing and sharing content and its main selling point is the ability to allow users to remix and expand upon other user videos including the ability to add in new content.

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Bamford added that there are already a number of other projects in the pipeline and, whilst not going into any details, it certainly looks like HTC is putting some manpower into making this new unit a success.