Press Center

Media Contact: Amy Hesser, [email protected], 312-933-8324
Twitter: @Smurks


DEMO Spring 2012 Conference Concludes With Revolutionary Social and Consumer Technology Innovations
April 19, 2012 | DEMO Conference PR Team
Smurks uses emoticons to gauge the mood of crowds
April 19, 2012 | VentureBeat | Jennifer Van Grove
DEMO: There's A New Social App For That
April 19, 2012 | PC Magazine | Michael J. Miller
The Smurk: the New Face of Mood Measurement?
April 18, 2012 | MrWeb - Daily Research News Online
20 eye-popping DEMO 2012 tech products
April 17, 2012 | Network World | Colin Neagle
Presenting companies at DEMO Spring 2012
April 17, 2012 | VentureBeat | Heather Kelly
Iconicast release Smurks animation produced by Grumo Media
April 11, 2012 | Iconicast
WBEZ Radio interview with Pat Byrnes
November 25, 2011 | WBEZ91.5 | Elysabeth Alfano
Behind the Scenes with New Yorker Cartoonist, Pat Brynes
November 14, 2011 | Huffington Post | Elysabeth Alfano
Smurks New Activity Pages Help Autistic Children Unlock Emotions
November 10, 2011 | Autism News Wire
New app helps people express their emotions
November 3, 2011 | ABC7 News | Karen Meyer
Double Duty for Smurks
October 26, 2011 | Chicago Parent | Maria Bouselli
Pat Byrnes interview on the CU@USC Talk Show
October 21, 2011 | CU@USC | Natasha Zouves
Barry Moltz interviews Pat Byrnes
June 24, 2011 | Business Insanity Radio | Barry Moltz
Smurks Starts Updated App for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch with More Options
More expressive emoticons
May 24, 2011 | Killer Startups | Roger Hollings
A very clever app
May 19, 2011 | Tech Cocktail | Monika Jansen
Smurks helps children with autism express joy
April 29, 2011 | Medill Reports | Maria Bouselli
Smurks app adds attitude to your online interactions
April 25, 2011 | Appolicious | Kathryn Swartz
The emotional pull of cartoon (apps)
April 25, 2011 | Appolicious | Kathryn Swartz
Amping Up Social Media Emotions with Smurks Smart Phone Imoticons
March 16, 2011 | WiredPRWorks | Barbara Rozgonyi
Smiley and the Smurks
March 15, 2011 | The Blog Horn | Matt Buch
New Yorker cartoonist explains why hes doing emoticon apps
March 5, 2011 | Appolicious | Howard Wolinsky

Press Releases

November 8, 2011 - Smurks New Activity Pages Helps Autistic Children Unlock Emotions
August 16, 2011 - Caller ID Selective Un-Blocking App Now Gives iPhone Users Easy Privacy Solution
"It's Me" Mobile Caller ID App Debuts to Rave Reviews ... more
June 22, 2011 - Smurks Launches Updated App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch With More Options
Now Users Can Smurk Even More on Facebook and Twitter With "Clip for Web" ... more
May 17, 2011 - Smurks Launches New App for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
App Offers Children With Autism and Others a New Way to Express Emotions ... more

Executive Bios

Pat Byrnes/Creative Director, Co-Founder
Celebrated cartoonist at The New Yorker, Readers Digest, Wall Street Journal and America Magazine, and popular book author and illustrator, Pat Byrnes, is also a stay-at-home dad, blogger and former rocket scientist who has lots of ideas every day. His genius inspiration for Smurks was born out of a attempt to tweak Twitter's 140-character limit with a cartoon wondering if anyone had that much to say. Then he realized that sometimes lots of people didn't. Not with words. But with body language and expressions, they had volumes to communicate. And now Smurks enables them to do just that with their iPhones, iPads and soon Androids. Out of the box thinker and doer Byrnes joined General Dynamics Convair after getting his Aerospace Engineering degree at the University of Notre Dame. Realizing his creative talents were better fed elsewhere Byrnes went on to win buckets of awards, from the Addy to the Clio, writing ad copy at big agencies, including J. Walter Thompson. Eventually he left copywriting for a successful voiceover acting career and has written a number of musicals. Byrnes is married to Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan.
Steve Landers/Chief Propeller Head, Co-Founder
No one would be smurking without the technological prowess of Smurks Chief Propeller Head Steve Landers, who specializes in graphical cross-platform applications that combine the best of proprietary and open source technology, and delights in masterminding 'it just works' solutions. After gaining a Computing Science degree at the University of NSW, he held senior technical positions with Exxon, Olivetti, and Murdoch University before co-founding Australian technology company Functional Software. For the last decade he has been principal of specialist IT design studio Digital Smarties which serves customers in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia; delivering solutions across industries as diverse as Telecoms, System Management, Financial Services, Bioinformatics, eCommerce, Corporate Communications, Universities and Medical Sciences. Landers is based in Perth, Australia and is well known in the open source community where he regularly contributes software, expertise and attitude.
Mike Doyle/Angel Investor, Co-Founder
You’d have to ask Dr. Mike Doyle why he decided to join Iconicast, because no one here can quite figure out why the founder of the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago and chairman of Eolas Technologies wants to hang out with a bunch of goofy cartoonists developing mobile apps. Our apps must be that awesome. Dr. Doyle is one of the smartest guys we know. Before he started Eolas, Dr. Doyle was the director of the Center for Knowledge Management at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He didn’t exactly invent the internet, but when he was at the UCSF Medical Center he led the team that developed the fundamental technologies that enabled Web browsers for the first time to act as platforms for fully interactive embedded applications. A true brainiac, his research topics include next-generation Web applications, 3-D biomedical visualization, and morphospatial genomic activity mapping. His transient-key cryptographic timestamp innovations have been adopted in the x9.95 ANSI National Standard, which really impresses a bunch of geeks like us. Before his work at UCSF, he was the director of the University of Illinois at Chicago Biomedical Visualization Laboratory, where his research included advancing state of the art of interactive computing. Mike’s philanthropic projects include heading The Buonacorsi Foundation and funding the advancement of the arts and sciences across a wide array of academic institutions and arts organizations. When he’s not busy being super intelligent, Mike enjoys downtime with his family at their cabin in Wisconsin where he likes watching films and football in his man cave and listening to great music.


Here's some of what others are saying about Smurks

What a wonderful technology!
Two boys near and dear to me have autism and this technology is such a great stride in providing accessible and entertaining tools and resources for these brilliant, but often misunderstood boys. Great job Smurks!
Jenna T, USA

Great for therapy
I use this with clients so that they can show me how they feel. This is truly one of the best apps. I use this with both kids and adults and find it a fabulous and popular tool. And of course it is also amazing for texts.

Great, simple fun app! Interesting psychology behind this. Check out their presentation at Spring Demo 12. Could this be the start of something new?
Suchacoolappwowamazin, USA

Organic Emoticons!
This is a great re-working of the garden-variety emoticons. That the developer is a professional cartoonist shows clearly in the expressivity of each drawing. What truly sets this app apart is the uesr interface. Instead of looking through pages of mugshots, you essentially use a logical system of finger strokes to 'dial in' for the right Smurk to capture an effect. Go look at the videos on the Smurk website and see what I mean.
Hawkat, UK

A picture is worth a thousand words
Great app. If you're tired of the same old stock smiley faces, you'll love this. Pinch and stretch to create different expressions, then send via text/mail/twitter/facebook. Fun cartoon designs. App also has plenty of preset images for special situations.
Rob, USA

Brilliant Idea!
Very intuitive, and a picture is worth a thousand words.

Great App!!
Fun to play with! Easy to send to Facebook. Entertains the kids. What more could you want?
ajb1026, USA

Fantastic App
A fantastic app that allows you to demonstrate how you're feeling even if you don't have the words to describe it. Very easy to use and fun! I can't wait for more smurks in the future!!!
Sazwazza, Australia

The Best Yet !
I love this! Very different & so much fun. So many to choose from. Thank you :) oh yes meant to say, I also loved your videos as well, very cute.
IttyBitty, USA

These are sooo cute!! I use them all the time!! Thanks for making such a fun app!!
Peggy2316, USA

Glad I came across this app!!! Different approach than other apps! No keyboards included!! Very easy to use and very fun. Tutorial was creative and kept my attention. I have introduced app to my friends amd family!! Very diverse app!! Great Great Great!!

isthisnametaken, USA


videos Introducing the Smurks Iconimetrix rating system (60 sec)

videos Pat Byrnes previews Smurks Iconimetrix at DEMO SPring 2012 (5:30 min)

We also have some videos to help you get into Smurks

For historical (and perhaps even hysterical) reasons you can still view the old Smurks Demo (6 min).

Or perhaps just get you interested in finding out some background about Smurks?