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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