Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 .

no-pins

Conference calls usually are a pain. One of the things I hate the most is having to enter a long PIN followed by a pound sign to join a call. It’s nearly impossible when you’re driving or dialing in from your mobile phone to go back and forth from your email or calendar app to the phone dialer to enter them. They’re painful, and we think there’s a better way.

With ÜberConference we have a “no PIN” solution. When you create your ÜberConference account, you enter all the phone numbers you might be dialing in from (home, cell, office, etc.). The only time you’ll ever need to enter a PIN to join one of your conferences is if you dial in from any number other than the ones on your profile. This is great for you, but what about the other callers? Basically, we treat all the other callers the same way. If you invite somebody to a conference call, they’ll need no PIN and will be automatically added so long as they dial in from a number that you have for them in your address book. This is a great reason to sign in with your Google account or to upload your address book once you’ve joined ÜberConference (it makes it easy for us to identify your callers based on their caller ID).

Of course some people love entering PINs…otherwise why would they put up with it? I was invited to a conference call through another provider today, and I kid you not, there was a 9 digit PIN to get into the conference…and it was shared with everybody on the call. Were there really 900 million other calls going on at that time that would force me to use a 9 digit PIN? C’mon!

Since we hate PINs so much, you may be asking why we provide them to our users…good question. First, you will need it if you call in from some unknown number to keep your conference secure. Second, you may not know everyone needed for the call, so PINs can be shared with people not invited directly. Hopefully after that first amazing UberConference though, everybody will sign up for their own account and not ever need a PIN again :)

We’re working on some other features to make joining calls even easier. Soon you’ll be able to have UberConference dial out to all the people you want on the call at the time of your call. All they’ll have to do is answer the call and press 1 to join the UberConference. Sweet, right?

If you have any other suggestions or thoughts, feel free to shoot us a note at ideas@uberconference.com and we’ll be sure to think about them.

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 .

We want to thank <re/code> for recently reviewing UberConference and making a great video highlighting how our product eliminates frustrations around conference calls. After walking through a play on our design, the team shared how UberConference can help make meetings run more efficiently.

“My favorite thing about UberConference is that it lets you see a visual representation of everyone on the call via its Web page or app. People are represented by tiles with names and images of themselves. This means you won’t have to ask things like, ‘Is Jessica still on the call, or did she hang up earlier?’” -Katherine Boheret

 

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 .

UberConference is shortlisted for the second year in the row at The Cloud Awards! This year UberConference is being considered for Most Promising Start-Up and Web Services Excellence.

Identifying and celebrating excellence in the field of cloud computing, the cloud computing awards program encourages entries from across the entire globe – the US, Canada, Australasia and EMEA regions. UberConference is proud to be considered a global leader in the telecommunications industry and start-up community.

Winners will be chosen and announced on January 28, 2014. We would like to extend the best of luck to all nominated!

 

Thursday, April 25th, 2013 .

Demoing your startup’s new product without PowerPoint is tough. Competing for an award judged by two very experienced CEOs and a highly respected VC is even tougher.Hosted by former TechCrunch co-editor (now current DEMO Conference Exec Producer) Erick Schoenfeld, the inaugural DEMO Mobile in San Francisco had UberConference CEO Craig Walker sitting with Garrett Camp, Founder & Chairman of Uber and StumbleUpon andChi-Hua Chien, General Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. (Yes, the UberConference team are Über users – we get asked that one a lot.)

This year’s mobile-and-productivity class included FieldLens, Tylr Mobile, TouchMail, and Altia Systems, who walked away with a DEMOGod award. UberConference CEO Craig Walker actually launched his previous company GrandCentral (today known as Google Voice) at the Demo Conference in 2006.

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Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 .

So, what is Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC), anyway? The idea isn’t new but people who use voice and video conferencing are beginning to hear it every day. At UberConference we use it to make it easy to join conference calls over the Internet from anywhere.

WebRTC allows real-time voice, video, and data to stream between two people using a web browser. There’s no need for plugins or third-party software, only the latest Chrome or Firefox.

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Until recently, web browsers were where you did pretty much everything except conferencing – web surfing, email, watching videos. However, the biggest disadvantage of the web browser was that it was lousy at two-way voice and video calls.

That kind of real-time communication had been challenging for companies for many years because the voice and video compression-decompression algorithms (called codecs) were really expensive. Only a few companies owned them, and they charged pricey licensing fees. In addition, browsers could only request data or send it upon request, not send and receive it in real time, as video chat requires.

To understand this, consider that browsers have been evolving ever since their creation to allow us to do more and more on the web. Plugins were introduced in the mid-late ’90s, which allowed developers to play videos with flash, facilitating a move toward the beginning of video communication. Then, in 2004, the browser language HTML5 developed the <audio> and <video> tags to allow this multimedia content to live in your browser without the need of a plugin. However, real time communication (RTC) remained a challenge because browsers lacked a method to send and receive data in real time, and often the stumbling block were the expensive codecs used to interpret the media communications between users.

For WebRTC to be truly effective, everyone needed access to the high quality codecs. In 2010 Google took on the challenge and purchased two companies: GIPS and On2. This turned the VoIP market on its head.

Here’s why: GIPS was a leading provider of VoIP codecs, On2 had a video codec that rivaled the H.26 standard. And Google open sourced them both, giving the RTC industry a giant push forward.

To solve the media transmission problem, the WebRTC collation created a set of open protocols for browsers to expose to developers. As browsers adopt this standard and implement them, developers can quickly write RTC applications with a few lines of JavaScript code.

That’s why WebRTC has been a big deal for UberConference and for all Internet users. It lets them conference in real-time without having to mess around with applications or phones or leave their web browser.

This is a huge benefit for emerging companies, who, ten years ago, would have paid significantly higher costs for  hardware and services to set everything up. They can now build their companies with a much lighter – and cheaper- footprint. Now that’s something to call your CEO about.