Will Your Email Address Be Your Phone Number?
If a startup out of Israel called YOOMBA has their way it will. Here's what I heard from their reps in NYC.
Today, online communications offerings like Yahoo, Windows Live Messenger and Skype exist as part of closed networks – in order to communicate with users on each network you are required to register, download an application and create another new identity for yourself. Once you are a member, you need to search and add contacts to that network one by one. If your friends or colleagues are not on that network, you need to persuade them to join or you need to join theirs in order to communicate with them.
For people who spend much of their time in front of a PC, Yoomba has build a unique and simple solution to this problem, instantly communicating with any email address, by voice or chat for free. There is no registration required, no new identity and you get instant access to all your contacts immediately.
Yoomba was developed in Israel. It is a proprietary peer-to-peer topology which overlays all email networks and provides one global network that all email addresses are a part of. It is the first open standard for any community, reaches anyone you wish to contact and it is all for free.
What makes Yoomba different from all of those standard instant messengers?
* Yoomba is a completely free open communications experience
* Yoomba is the first proprietary peer2peer network that sits on top of any email networks
* Yoomba is the only open communications experience that allows you to talk through email globally
* Only Yoomba allows you to enter an email address to call a contact
* Yoomba turns any email address into a phone or instant messenger
* Yoomba offers a free communications experience
My take is mixed. Proprietary means issues in a world moving towards SIP. P2P is a misnomer as all voice is by nature P2P in the media path, but not in the signaling. Additionally more and more networks, especially at hotels and on university campuses are getting concerned over the P2P traffic. I do like the concept of email mapping to make the call, but hey, I like ENUM too :-) i can see how this will make it easier to go from email to voice rather quickly and practical so it will be interesting to learn if it is cross platform (MAC AND PC AND LINUX) which email apps it works with (web based, outlook, Apple Mail, etc.) and what the call quality is like.