In his blog today, Michael Cerda likened Zingdom, the company where I co-founded and am CTO, to Userplane and his own Jangl. I'm flattered by the comparison. We came across Userplane when we were operating as Convoq and offering a Flash-based web-conferencing product. Like Convoq, Userplane used the built-in audio and video capabilities of the Flash Player and the Flash Media Server to provide a no-download real-time communications experience. We built a complete, stand-alone web conferencing system while they built a widget that could be integrated into any web site. They sold the company to AOL for a reported $30-40 million. Valuable lesson there.
Jangl is the one company of the J Companies that has thought deeply about how people want to communicate and has gone about reinventing the telephone experience. I share Michael Cerda's belief that we are at the beginning of an era where communications can be centered around people and relationships rather than devices and phone numbers. We think we've found many innovative applications for this concept beyond the obvious ones such as dating and social networks and look forward to sharing some of those ideas in the near future.
In the meantime, here are a few screenshots of what we have built to date.
Zingme button embedded in a web site:
When the user presses the button, he or she gets a choice of connection methods, depending on the preferences of the intended recipient:
Selecting a connection mode dials the requester's phone, the dials the recipient:
I'll have more in a future post about how all of this gets set up.