Ribbit

December 20, 2007 § Leave a comment

There is some buzz this week about a company called RibbitTechCrunch swallowed whole their marketing line of “Silicon Valley’s First Phone Company” while GigaOm spat it out, as he should have.  Their site is slick and the service looks interesting, but they are certainly not Silicon Valley’s first phone company.  Ribbit would probably counter that they are the first phone platform, but they’re not that either.  Most folks think Asterisk is pretty darn good in that arena.

We built our own VoIP platform for KnowledgeBid simply because we knew exactly what we wanted (trackable calls, authentication, land line phones, no per minute fees).  If Ribbit had been around 9 months ago, I’m sure we would have looked at the service, but I think that’s about as far as it would have gone.  Ribbit charges for outgoing land line minutes plus a monthly service fee, whereas the KnowledgeBid platform scales and now that we’ve built it, it’s virtually free for us to use.  I’m guessing many other VoIP application developers would find themselves in the same camp.  Flexibility and options are cool, but if you know what you need, you might as well build it yourself if you’re in it for the long haul.

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Gigaom: VoIP on Facebook is flat.

December 1, 2007 § Leave a comment

Very interesting article reviewing the weak state of voice apps on Facebook over at GigaOm. Given Facebook’s ~50,000,000 users, these numbers are really, really bad. Analysis included in the article from AppHound:

facebookvoipappstats.gif

Imperia: VoIP app backbone

November 6, 2007 § 1 Comment

Much of the recent buzz (two more) about VoIP app innovation seems to be brewing around Iperia. Iperia’s website is pretty tough to decipher, but it looks like they provide infrastructure for trackable calling and other VoIP stuff. They gave a demo of a potential use of their product at the VON 2007 fall conference which was for realtors to track calls to the homes they had on the market. Much of the criticism about the Iperia is focusing on the app for realtors, not the actual products Iperia provides. I’ve written about the benefits of trackable calls for local advertising. It seems Iperia is positioning themselves to be a service provider that can step in and help application builders integrate VoIP features. I think that VoIP features will continue to be grow, but Iperia will be fighting against the tide as the technology behind them becoming easier and easier to implement.

GigaOM on Voice Apps + VoIP lag test 2

November 6, 2007 § Leave a comment

Great GigaOm post today on web applications and VoIP innovations. We recently moved our VoIP platform out of Joe’s living room and into a high end hosting facility and were pleased to see our already low latency times cut in half (orginial VoIP test).

Hosted latency (~.43 seconds)

Joe’s living room latency (~.55 seconds)

Normal cell phone latency (~.34 seconds – dinner is being chopped in the background).

Om linked to Andy Ambramson’s VoIP Watch and Ike Elliot’s Telecosm – two blogs I will definitely be following from now on.

VoIP lag test

October 3, 2007 § 1 Comment

Joe and I have been working with some very powerful VoIP stuff recently. One problem often encountered with VoIP is an awkward lag time (aka “latency”) between data going from the mouth of one caller to the ear of another. This used to be common in trans-oceanic calls. There is nothing worse than an artificial 2 second lag between every back-and-forth in an important conversation.

We created a test using two cell phones and a microphone. Phone #1 was put on speaker with the volume turned all the way up. The microphone was placed on the speaker of phone #1 and set to record. Phone #2 was held in the air. This is what we got:

This is the lag on a normal cell phone to cell phone call. It’s ~.34 seconds (dinner is being chopped in the background).

This is the lag on a cell phone to cell phone call hosted on the VoIP platform we have running out of Joe’s living room . Only ~.55 seconds! We’re excited to see what it gets down to when we move it to a high end hosting facility.

Pretty cool stuff.

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