Who needs boring old text-based emails, when you can just send video mails to friends, family and co-workers? That’s the promise of Eyejot, a Seattle upstart led by entrepreneur David Geller.

Eyejot has been around for some time. But it was only after Geller sold his previous company, Seattle email marketing firm WhatCounts, that the former Starwave employee directed his full attention to it.

And this week, Geller and his small team (which includes his sister in New York) rolled out a new $3.99 iPhone app which allows users to easily create video messages.

As an example, here’s a new Eyejot message that I just sent to Geller.

Geller appropriately enough responded to my message and a follow-up question about the revenue model, with an Eyejot message of his own.

I’ve been playing with the app this morning, and (after a few installation challenges and server outages) have got to say it is pretty slick. Not only does it allow one to record personalized video messages, but it also allows Eyejotters to pick videos from the iPhone’s camera roll. (This solves a nagging problem of having to upload videos to YouTube in order to share clips with friends or bumping into emails that are too large to send).

Geller also is excited about vCards, which are essentially video-based business cards. Instead of handing out paper business cards, Geller is hopeful that people instead will choose to send a video message (stored in the cloud for special events or other activities) that includes pertinent contact information.

Because the video is stored in the cloud, Geller said that the email (complete with the video, contact info and geo-stamped map) is sent in a matter of seconds. “They will remember you. It will be different from the stack of business cards they collect from everyone else,” he said.

The new iPhone app represents a big transition for Eyejot which had previously focused on small business customers and Web-based applications. “Mobile kind of changes that for us as it does have wide appeal and probably larger appeal with the consumer audience,” said Geller.

An Android version will be coming in a few weeks, and Geller also is working on maximizing it for the iPad.

“Before I had the iPhone, it was hard to kind of change daily patterns via the video mail platform,” said Geller. “Now that I have it with me anywhere, whenever I feel the need to communicate with someone with video, I just whip out the phone.”

Of course, the iPhone already operates a live one-to-one video chat service with Facetime. But  Geller said not everyone wants to communicate that way with video.

“The problem with live video is that it takes two parties to be online at the same time,” Geller tells GeekWire. “So, I think the asynchronous video model will become popular when people realize that there are tools out there like Eyejot that make it easy.”

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  • Ralph

    David Geller is one of the brightest tech entrepreneurs around..eyejot  is easy to use and has huge upside potential if it can get above all the noise.

  • http://www.seattle-realestate.com/ SeattleJim

    I love Eyejot and have used it occasionally with clients and others since 2009. I have a premium Eyejot Pro Plus account and pay $99/year for the service. I also have an iPhone 4S and an iPad2 and I think I will probably use Eyejot more with the app. But it seems that Eyejot’s premium users shouldn’t have to pay extra just for an app to change the device they wish to record from. That seems to be going against the trend I’ve been seeing with other vendors. For example, look at the subscription based magazines on iTunes. Their apps are free and you pay for the annual subscription, not both. I’ll probably just pony-up and buy it. But I can imagine it will slow down any adoption by companies looking for enterprise-wide solutions. There’s not even a free “lite version” to download to try it out! However I wish David well and I hope it succeeds. It looks like a great product!

    • http://eyejot.com/users/davidg davidgeller

      Thanks for being an Eyejot customer – especially a PRO+ customer. I hear you on the cost and having to pay an extra amount for the mobile client. The challenge for us is that it’s very hard to bridge Apple’s commerce system with any external coupon or redemption system. So, we had to think about the fact that a majority of users for our mobile app would, more than likely, be new users rather than existing PRO+.

      Also, did you know we haven’t been charging you a yearly fee? That original PRO+ fee you paid has never been re-charged for subsequent years. We’ve effectively been giving our PRO+ users a free ride. For some, perhaps like you, that might represent several hundred dollars in savings!

      • http://www.seattle-realestate.com/ SeattleJim

        Wow, that’s great, David! Thanks! I’d much rather pay a small app charge than pay a yearly fee. That works for me!

        A couple of suggestions 1) It would be great to see an iPad2 native version, not just an emulated 2x mode. and 2) I wish there was an “Eyejot This!” feature for the iPad like the desktop version. I know the iPhone users are strapped for pixel real estate, but the iPad users would love it. Keep up the good work!

  • http://twitter.com/WayneUlery Wayne Ulery

    I’ve been using eyejot since 2008 and I absolutely love it!  The long awaited iphone app is awesome!  I can already see how I will use it more as I am traveling through life.  I like the vcard option and plan on using it soon.  I would like to see the ability to send the vcard via sms.  Great job David!!!  Thanks for all you do!

  • Dave

    Sadly I believe Eyejot went out of business as I recently had an issue after upgrading my account only to leave 14 messages with no response. The messages included 4 video emails and a message left on David Gellars machine. It’s a shame I spent so much time to decide on going with eyejot now I will have to look at another provider.

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