Hookflash: Making Social Networking Dreams Come True
The folks at Hookflash have already started work on a SIP interface and have DECT capabilities in an iPad docking station to provide "extensions that function just like a desk phone" for delivery next year.
I received a late hour press release announcing Hookflash of Santa Clara, CA is demonstrating their initial release of Hookflash for iPad at DEMO. Hookflash combines the top features of corporate phone systems with group video conferencing and group messaging. The key differentiator is that participant profiles are automatically created from information extracted from business and social networks.
On a conference call with co-founder CEO Trent Johnsen, the very first question I asked, "When can I get rid of my PBX?" Trent's elated response was, "We hope soon." Trent wasn’t kidding.
My buddies that have iPads make me feel like I'm missing something on my Mac desktop so I asked Trent, "What about Hookflash for my iMac?" Trent said, "Clients will follow later for Macs, PCs and cellular." The first release of Hookflash for iPad includes voice, video and chat.
Trent's enthusiasm doesn't stop there; he believes their solution exceeds existing features currently available in consumer-focused video chat dialers such as Skype and traditional enterprise phone systems. While it's the social networking abilities that they are counting on to become that proverbial cash cow, I can't help but wonder about my prior conversations with Todd Carothers of Counterpath (Bria for iPad) and about how many desk phones and even PBXs that could be replaced. The folks at Hookflash are using a model similar to Skype's by offering free software to first get Hookflash in as many iPads possible. Earlier this summer, I wrote about Apple's iCloud changes that, "Maybe the next PBX is simply an i-device."
The folks at Hookflash have already started work on a SIP interface and have DECT capabilities in an iPad docking station to provide "extensions that function just like a desk phone" for delivery next year. My next question, "Do users need a cellular data plan with their iPads?" Trent said, "No, they just need a broadband connection." I ask this question often because I think the cellular industry needs a quick slap upside their heads because people will continue to find ways around cellular. The other reason is one I discovered earlier and wrote in Indoor Mobility?--that, "70-80 percent of mobile traffic originates from inside buildings." This should be some comfort for users that purchase iPads with WiFi only, but can the need for always on, always available be fulfilled by sole dependency upon WiFi access?