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Free WebRTC applications

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

talkyio2A while back the funky folks &yet (based in glow in the dark Richland, WA) introduced which was one of the first WebRTC video chat applications. It was well executed for what it was. The little rocket ship game was a nice detail and the entire experience had a lot of the &yet personality baked in.

Moving the notch a lever higher, now has released a companion iOS application available on the iTunes store (you can also run as a native WebRTC application in Android so you don’t even need an app). Big surprise – the IOS application (which uses WebRTC) is similarly well executed.

&yet isn’t yet (sorry the pun) trying make a business competing with the multitude of commercial collaboration tools on the market. It’s also not competing with some of the free collaboration tools (which may have crippled feature functionality in the free version or some nag element to upgrade). Nope, &yet simply has as sort of a lobby work of art saying “this is the sort of stuff we do” the implication if you like then you’re bound to like &yet and maybe seek their help with your next application.

Ugh. Just what the world needs, a new form of competition, someone where the freest form of free is a viable business model.  This is unfortunately one of the side effects of WebRTC, the underlying technology is so relatively simply that the total cost of building the application is low. With the base technology out of the way, &yet could focus on their creative flair by making the application “feel good” and their back office expertise in ensuring it works just as well.

Did &yet invest some serious time into the project? Yes. Did they invest a million dollars? Probably not. So more than zero and less than a million (probably way less). Whatever it was, &yet saw it as a low cost way to attract customers to their door step (ah that word “cost of customer acquisition”).

This speaks to some of the underlying changes that we all need to be paying attention to. A changing business model where competition could truly be accidental or unintentional. We’ve seen this game before in instant messaging and email (and other forms of communication) where something else is footing the relatively low costs to try and attract you to something else. Thus, it’s not a new model, but clearly one that WebRTC could further exploit.

Whether &yet continues to update, bug fix and keep with the times is dependent upon how valuable talky was in bringing customers to their door. They’ll make a logical business decision at a some point. But for now, and it’s new companion iOS application work just fine for your meeting tomorrow. So give it a try!