Work often gets done through meetings, whether they are face to face or over programs like Skype. Meetings help us share and present ideas, debate topics and get in sync. But many times, you are probably sitting there wondering why you need to be there, some of you may have even fallen asleep. According to research by Atlassian, in the U.S. alone, US$37 Billion worth of salary cost is wasted on non-essential meetings, where the average worker attends 62 meetings each month and half are considered unnecessary.
So the question is, how do you achieve the same things in a meeting, without having a meeting?
Anurag Chakradhar, Founder and CEO of Australian startup, Blrt, believes he has the answer. Blrt is a communication and collaboration mobile app that lets users talk, point and draw over websites, images and documents and record their actions. In a chat like fashion, users can asynchronously record what they want to say and send it to another person or a group.
Of course email, talking on the phone or having a video call are other ways to communicate, but according to Blrt, they all lack a key component. Email can’t convey emotions accurately, phone conversations are not visual or recorded and video calls require fast internet connection.
Comparatively, Blrt conveys voice by recording what you say over your actions, it allows you to be visual by capturing hand gestures and drawing over a webpage, image or document and despite feeling like video, Blrt messages are up to 50 times smaller than video, at around 100-150kb/minute. It achieves this by using an intelligent patent-pending technology to store hand gestures as vector data and computer code instruction. If you make a mistake you can undo or redo an action. Even better, you can even record your Blrt messages without internet connection and they will sync to the cloud when you go online. Being totally cloud based has the added advantage of being able to access your information from any device. To protect your data, all of it is encrypted before it hits the cloud. BLRTs also avoid version control problems by becoming an evolving file, which records all the changes along the way.
To really understand how the app works, watch the short video below:
You can see that recording the path of exactly how the creator interacted with the file, really helps you to clearly understand what they were trying to tell you. “It’s often not about what the final result is but how we got there,” said Chakradhar. He added, “It almost gives you the ability to do a bit of time travel. You can even add new people into an old conversation.”
By running Thinkun, a web and mobile digital agency in Sydney, Chakradhar intimately understands the creative industry. That’s why Blrt’s initial target market will be freelancers and people from the marketing, advertising, design and architecture industry. Creative talent depends on clearly understanding the vision of a client and then communicating their interpretation to their client. But oftentimes, the problem is that clients are busy and offsite and “agency people hate not being able to present their work, because it shows their thought process,” said Chakradhar. Creative people often talk about technical documents, designs and aesthetics, things that are difficult to capture in an email. Moreover, advertising and marketing agencies have clients in every industry, so Blrt sees it as a great way to seed the product into the world. In the future, Blrt plans to target corporates who will need many licenses.
The business model is freemium, whereby users can make unlimited BLRTs but limited to a maximum of one minute per message. By upgrading to premium for US$12.50 per month, users can send BLRTs up to 5 minutes and 100 page PDFs to up to 25 people. In BLRTs research, they found that it takes 3-5 minutes to get the crux of an idea, any more than that is fluff. By forcing the messages to be short, it makes the user more aware of their thoughts and what they say, eliminating ‘ah’s and um’s’.
Having only launched the app publicly in the last six months, Blrt is still very young. The team plans to scale Blrt by connecting the tool to other products through an API, which will have a ‘Blrt This’ button to capture web pages, files or images. To accelerate growth, Blrt is looking to raise $2 Million in funding.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)