First of all, Voxeet has got something that none of the other players have – having tried it out on a call with CEO Stephane Giraudie, I must say I’m impressed – and that’s audio quality. Voxeet makes one promise: no more choppy calls. The audio comes through clear, no matter what – and frankly, it makes a huge difference in the phone call. No more “can you repeat that?”s or calls that just never happen because one or both of the callers are unable to get to a reliable internet connection.
Today, the Voxeet app is free to download for iOS, Android & Windows, and includes a web version as well. Giraudie was also quite a fan of the ‘conference table’ interface that appears on all calls, that allows you to place all members of the call at different positions around that table, with their position relative to you determining the way you hear their voice, imitating a real-life conference table.
Read more via the Rude Baguette.
Summary: Thanks to a new audio stack, Voxeet offers “3DHD” sound with wideband audio codecs for improved conference call clarity. The updated app makes it easy to schedule calls and switch between devices while talking to the group.
Voxeet 2.0 is relatively hassle-free for setting up conference calls as well. The app integrates with contact lists and Facebook and also with various calendar software such as Google Calendar, Outlook and iCal. Adding firstname.lastname@example.org as a contact will actually schedule a meeting and call each participant so they don’t have to dial in or remember arcane PINs. Best of all, group members can start the conference on one device and move over to another if needed; handy for those on the go.
There’s something groundbreaking happening under the hood at Voxeet: We have an entirely new engine. WebRTC now serves as the foundation for our proprietary 3DHD audio technology, replacing our previous multi-vendor solution.
The result? Voxeet 2.0 delivers never-before-imagined levels of quality and consistency across different devices and networks, for sound so mind-bendingly clear, you have to experience it to believe it.
All this, plus everything you already love about Voxeet:
- The cross-device consistency of an app built from the ground up for mobile users
- Unique avatars—and individual audio streams—for each caller
- One-click transfers between devices
- Conference calls that call you—no dial-ins or PINs necessary
- Private two-way conversations during your call with Whisper Mode
- Easy integration with your contact lists and Facebook
Conference calling has never felt more natural. Try our new version and experience the difference.
Voxeet 2.0 Audio Conferencing Immerses Mobile Users in Unmatched 3DHD Sound, Offers Easy Meeting-Management Features
- Lifelike audio on iOS, Android and PCs eliminates conferencing fatigue increases caller engagement
- Maximizes productivity
- Seamless call transfers between PCs, smartphones and tablets
let users start and finish conferences on their device of choice
SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 12, 2014) – Each year, people spend a total of more than 100 billion minutes on audio conference calls. That’s impressive, considering all of the complaints about poor audio quality and confusion about who’s talking, which can make each minute on some calls seem like a lifetime.
The new generation of Voxeet’s award-winning mobile apps for iOS, Android and updated desktop softphones eliminates those and other major conference-calling headaches, freeing participants to focus on the actual discussion. As the first conferencing service designed for the mobile generation, Voxeet is ideal for today’s mobile work styles, as well as for the growing number of enterprises using smartphones, tablets and softphones to eliminate deskphones and the expenses that come with them.
Voxeet maximizes productivity by making it easier for callers to understand one another and identify who’s speaking, all of which can shorten conference calls and minimize mistakes. Voxeet gets the audio right the first time, every time, by removing talk-over and delays while eliminating the annoyance and wasted time of having to dial back in.
“Voxeet is the first service that I have used that actually emulates many of the attributes of being in a meeting, while on an audio conference call,” said David Coleman, senior analyst at Collaborative Strategies, Inc. and GigaOM Research. “It is a mobile-first application, and the sound quality and stereo separation show their technology leadership in this area.”
Lauded by Forbes, InformationWeek, PC Magazine and others, Voxeet 1.0 provided the key performance indicators and other real-world information used to develop an enhanced audio engine and other major new features in Voxeet 2.0. Available immediately for Android, iOS and Windows, Voxeet 2.0 provides:
- 3DHD audio, which minimizes call fatigue by eliminating annoyances such as asking people to repeat themselves, while making it easier to understand callers with accents. The advanced audio engine also eliminates background noise, echo, talk over and differences in each participant’s audio level.
- A roomlike experience, where acoustic and visual cues eliminate guesswork about who’s speaking, even when multiple people are talking simultaneously. By putting each participant’s audio in its own stream, Voxeet replicates the experience of being able to tell who’s speaking simply by the direction each voice is coming from, leveraging the way the brain works when there are multiple speakers in a room. Each user’s avatar and other visual cues provide additional information about each speaker’s participation status and position in the virtual room.
- Whisper mode for private, one-on-one conversations during conference calls. Users simply click on another participant’s avatar, eliminating the need to use a separate chat app as a backchannel. During the Whisper chat, users can still hear the rest of the conference, so they don’t miss important points.
- Seamless, single-click call transfer between mobiles and computers so users can start a call on one device and finish it on another. Transfers are inaudible to other participants, so there are no strange sounds to interrupt the conversation.
- WebRTC, which has matured enough to serve as the foundation for Voxeet’s proprietary 3DHD technology, noise suppression and other industry-first features. Voxeet’s new WebRTC-based audio stack replaces the 1.0 app’s multi-vendor solution to provide greater reliability and consistency across different types of devices and networks.
- An intuitive user interface that enables on-demand conferencing and simplifies common tasks such as call transfers. With Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook and other platforms, Voxeet users simply include email@example.com as a participant to instantly schedule a conference. Voxeet then calls each participant and the host as the conference is about to begin, eliminating the need for PINs and dial-in numbers.
- Integration with contact lists and Facebook to streamline tasks such as creating a Voxeet account, sending invitations and organizing contacts into frequently conferenced groups.
“By bringing immersive 3DHD audio to desktops, tablets and smartphones while eliminating the hassle of PINs and dial-in numbers, Voxeet transforms the conference call experience from a fatiguing chore into a simple, lifelike way to collaborate effectively,” said Voxeet Founder and CEO Stephane Giraudie. “With Voxeet 2.0’s new audio engine and other enhanced features, we’ve raised the bar again for what’s possible in conferencing and created an experience that people don’t want to give up once they’ve tried it.”
The new Voxeet 2.0 mobile apps and PC softphones, and the HD conferencing service, are available now for free from www.voxeet.com/download.
For more information on the press release, click here.
When I tell people that the solution to better conference calls rests not in some fancy new technology or some expensive pair of headphones but rather in the simplicity of Mother Nature, they usually do one of two things (if not both in rapid succession):
1) Stare at me like I’m a little crazy.
2) Ask me what the heck I’m talking about.
And so I explain about biomimicry, the practice of mimicking Mother Nature to drive technological innovation. The basic idea is that Mother Nature has been operating a laboratory for the past 3.8 billion years that’s full of solutions tested by the most rigorous standard of all: survival. By copying these solutions (unfortunately for Mother Nature, none of her work is patent protected), we can create important breakthroughs that make mankind more efficient and, one would hope, friendly to nature in return.
Examples of biomimicry in our everyday lives are everywhere. Velcro came from copying burrs. A painless hypodermic needle came from copying mosquitoes. Those fancy swimsuits you saw at the summer Olympics in London and Beijing came from copying shark skin. A group of architects in Zimbabwe copied termite dens to create a building that uses 90 percent less energy than a conventional building, and a group of engineers in Wisconsin has copied the honeycomb to create tires that can’t go flat. The list goes on and on.
So when it came time for us to reinvent the conference call, where else did we turn but to Mother Nature. Specifically, we examined the human brain, which has evolved to have a profoundly sensitive response to sounds. When you step into a room, your head quickly analyzes who is sitting where and creates a model of the room in your head. What’s more, your brain also evaluates the acoustics of the room to help you anticipate from which direction voices or other sounds might come.
This is why people who are blind can summon such vivid maps and images in their heads from the sounds they hear around them. The brain’s relationship with sound is spatial and deeply nuanced.
And yet, conference calls as they exist today muddle this evolutionary trait. The majority of conference calls still take place via basic audio bridges that merge everyone’s voice into a single, monophonic audio stream that makes it hard to distinguish one speaker from the next. Even newer applications like Skype create a pureed soup out of the various participants’ voices on the line.
We decided to do it the way Mother Nature intended. We started with an algorithm that mimics the way the human brain processes sounds. As a result, every conference participant gets an individual audio stream that brings his or her voice to the conversation from a distinct place. So long audio soup, hello three-dimensional (3D) sound.
Next, we built in high-def (HD) quality, so that any voice transmitted through Voxeet arrives with unrivaled clarity.
Finally, we created an on-screen virtual conference room with unique avatars for each speaker, which makes it easy to tell who’s talking when. It also means you can arrange individual speakers on your screen — be it a smartphone, tablet or laptop — however you wish so that your virtual conference resembles a real-life one. If you put person X at the outside of the room and person Y in the middle, person Y will sound closer to you.
We call the resulting solution “natural conferencing.” Simply put, it’s the way that conference calls were meant to work. And when conference calls work, they lead to better collaboration, clearer communication, and greater efficiency. That’s something that everyone, especially Mother Nature, can appreciate.