When you think about it, the experience of making a phone call hasn’t changed very much over the years, even as the devices we use to make those calls have undergone a revolution.
“It’s crazy,” says Rob Williams, CEO of Sidecar. “But the calling experience really hasn’t changed much since the days when phones were still plugged into the wall.
"At Sidecar, we are reimagining the phone call for the age of smartphones, because you should be able to take advantage of all of the features of your smartphone when talking on it.”
If you are someone who finds yourself all too often annoyed by the limitations of the current generation of conference calls and virtual meeting technologies, help may be on the way.
The first thing I noticed about LoopUp during a call with the company’s co-founder and co-CEO, Steve Flavell, was how easy it is to use.
Within the first ten days of launching one year ago, the mobile video phone service Tango had one million users. As it celebrated its first anniversary last Friday, the Palo Alto-based startup counted 23 million registered subscribers to its free service, all of them using the company’s mobile apps.
Now Tango has added a PC product as well, and Microsoft is promoting Tango on its W-7 Mango platform. People can call each other from PCs, iPhones, the iPod touch, the iPad, and hundreds of Android phones and tablets.
The move to embrace the PC market would seem to be a direct swipe at Skype, the giant Internet phone service. Recently purchased by Microsoft, Skype has had trouble adapting to the mobile market, an opportunity that has been the central focus of Tango’s efforts.
“We are a communication services company and we are mobile first,” says co-founder and CTO Eric Setton. “But we initially underestimated the demand for video calls over the PC.”