Monthly Archives: June 2008

Dial2Do wins “hands-free” at SVASE Launch: Silicon Valley 2008

Dial2Do was selected as “most promising company” in the Media and Mobility section at the SVASE Launch: Silicon Valley event this week. We’re absolutely thrilled. This is a prestigious event, with a Blue Chip set of sponsors. Dial2Do was selected to present from 266 applicants vying for 30 coveted demo slots in Next Generation Internet, Computing, Life Sciences, Semiconductors, Acoustics, Media and Mobility categories.

Our CEO Ivan MacDonald presented for 10 minutes to an audience comprising Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs. The audience selects the winning company in each category.

Official announcement here.

The feedback from the audience was very positive on our “getting things done, hands-free” message, and of course, the fact that hands-free legislation kicks in from July 1st in California, and will then follow in other US states, provided great context. In California alone, there are an estimated 23 Million Licensed drivers who will be affected by this new law, and as reported by Plantronics, many of these are unaware of the consequences of non-compliance. We’d encourage each and every one of them to sign up with Dial2Do!

As for our win, we’re delighted, and as they might say in the Valley: AWE-SOME! 🙂

UPDATE: A video of Ivan’s pitch is now up on YouTube


Dial2Do Voice Activates Jajah’s 10 Million Users


As you know if you’ve been reading our stuff before, we’re fans of JAJAH, the
low cost calling guys who started out doing “web activated telephony” and are
slowly taking over the world 🙂

So we’re pretty excited to announce a partnership between Dial2Do and
JAJAH. Early Beta users of our service will already know the deal: you can use
JAJAH in Dial2do – just call Dial2Do, say “Jajah”, and then say the contact
you wish to call. You’re done! Dial2Do sets up the call via the JAJAH API, and
you get callback in double quick time and are connected at their phenomenal
super-low rates!

That’s not all. Now you can use JAJAH text and conferencing the same way: call
dial2do, say “Jajah text” or “Jajah conference”. It works the way you expect
and sets up a low-cost call or conference call, or lets you speak your text
and then transcribes it for you. If you’re a JAJAH user today but have never tried Dial2Do, then you can get started in double quick time by going to and using the magic code “dial2jajah” as your invite code.

If you’ve never used or heard of JAJAH (really? you serious? Um – ok!), then
here’s the pitch: on the web, you fill in your number, and the number of the
person you wish to call. Press the green Call Button and wait. Next thing your
phone rings, and it’s JAJAH – setting up the call between you and the other
person. No downloads, no headsets, no special phones, no nuttin’ Just
super-cheap calls to anywhere, all from your regular phone.

Well, that’s great on the web, but how about when you’re out and about with
your phone and want to access the same super cheap calls? You can download a
Java client for your phone, but, not everyone wants to do that, and not
everyone can.

Cue trumpets! Now – use Dial2Do! Add JAJAH as a service in Dial2Do, and once
you’ve done that, you can “Jajah” (they’re so successful they’re becoming a
verb) any of your contacts; just call Dial2Do, say “Jajah call”, then contact
name, and you’re done. As they’d say in Friends, could it BE any easier? Not
unless I called over and pressed the keys for you! 🙂

Check out the video below and the Press Release here. Try it out and let us know what you think. We’re buzzed!

More on the Social Phone (N95 versus iPhone, again!)

From Stuart Henshall’s blog:

I think this socializing factor is probably true of the applications that will be developed for these devices. I said it above mobile devices are social. The more social they are the better they will perform. The iPhone demonstrates this is so many ways on top of the basic email, browsing, send a pic etc. The photo album, or the ability to view a video together or review music choices.

Social Phone: SkyDeck, Android, Zyb, Jaiku

This is a quick and incomplete roundup of four different approaches to what I call the “social phone”. It would have been five in number but Zyb went and acquired Imity not long before being acquired itself by Vodafone. Rather than have a prolonged discussion of what I mean by social phone, let’s just take a look.

SkyDeck: At first blush this looks like a phone bill analysis tool (which indeed it is), which sounds pretty boring. However, we all know that my real social network most likely exists in my phone contacts and call history. Who do I call most often? Who do I text? Whose calls do I ignore? Who do I talk to the most (most minutes) as opposed to call most often? You can figure out quite a bit about your own social graph by analysing you call and text records, and in the way of Web 2.0, you can get significant added value if that data can be shared in a controlled way. SkyDeck adds value by crunching the call and text data for you, and that analysis can be valuable and informative. A great example of some of the value-add that can be brought to your CDRs buried in your operator.

Android: I mention Android here because one of the radical things about Android is the ability to customise everything – including the contact list and the dialler. The possibilities here are very interesting, and we’ve touched on them before, such as: branded phones that come with built-in contacts for (say) 50Cent (“Call him anytime and leave him a message – he’ll text you when he’s playing in your neighbourhood”), location-aware phonebook that can display people in your phonebook who are “nearby”, contact lists that can arrange themselves by “most called”, or “most called when I’m in this city”, and so on. Take a look at the Android Challenge first round for a great initial set of ideas around making the phone social.

Zyb: These guys had a very interesting progression, from backing up your contacts to the cloud, to letting you “connect” to other people in your address book also using Zyb, to adding more and more social aspects to the phone book (shouts, photos, twitter-like microblogging features and so on). In addition, they acquired Imity which used Bluetooth to help bring your contact list alive, and to tell you when other contacts (using Imity) are nearby. A great example of linking some real-world proximity solution with your contacts for value-add. Now part of Vodafone, it’ll be fascinating to see if the Zyb service morphs in to a prime-time offering from Vodafone. Hope so

Jaiku: Lots of people seem to have written Jaiku off, as nothing too much has happened since they were acquired by Google. I haven’t. One of the more fascinating elements of what Jaiku had done was to create a much more social phone book for (admittedly only Nokia) phones than Nokia, including Imity-style features but much, much more. I expect to see some of this functionality re-emerge with gusto and verve whenever Jaiku formally opens for business again. I suspect that when they do, it’ll be timed to coincide with other announcements from Google around Android, Handsets and so on. Just seems logical that this would be the case.

Twelve months from now, my contacts list or phone book in my phone will let me know when people are near, prioritise people I call most often, provide a way to “nudge” or “ping” people to see if they’re up for a call without having to text or barge in on them by calling, and offer options for auto-updating lifestreams online based on who I’m with and where I am (“Sean and Joe were in the pub for three hours. Hmmmm”)

Can’t wait 🙂

Telco 2.0 Roadtrip Dublin : Takeaways and Slides

We had about thirty people or more for last Friday’s Telco 2.0 Dublin Roadtrip. Martin Geddes and Norman Lewis treated us to a a few hours of highly stimulating and very thoughtful discussion about where the Telecom industry is headed, and engaged in a relaxed and open Q&A session for an hour to close the event. In attendance were operators (Eircom, O2 and Vodafone), and local technology companies who operate in the Telecom value-chain. The feedback was extremely positive – I hope we can do it again.

Some tidbits that stuck in my mind (in no particular order)

  • Several of the world’s top telecom operators are now studying two-sided business models in some detail, to figure out how they might take advantage of same and evolve their own model.
  • The nannyphone: a phone that sits on the floor and lets kids call their grandparents by pushing a big, green button (button only lights up when a grandparent wants the call). Martin’s idea – several audience members wanted to purchase immediately 🙂
  • Apple has done the Internet parts of the iPhone well, but not the Phone parts. For example – you can’t forward an SMS (Doh!), you can only view SMSs in “conversational” mode (which is not how SMS is mostly used) and the phone book isn’t “active” in any sense (most-used contacts don’t rise to the top of your “recents” list or self-suggest themselves as favourites when you’ve dialled them X times)
  • Video-calling on phones will never take off: when we talk, we can just talk and listen to the other person, but when we video call, our brains are now split, as they try to talk *and* try to calibrate and adjust how we (I) look to the other user at the other end of the call. It’s too “neurologically expensive”. Best reason I’ve heard yet for the failure of video calling, and an improvement on “we don’t want to be seen in our pyjamas”.
  • This generation of kids is the most supervised group of children ever. They have spent the most time in adult company of any generation growing up. The supervision-culture creates a thirst for “freedom”, which they often now find online (in Club Penguin, or CyWorld) instead of in the local field or park (as they’re not allowed go there on their own).
  • “Personalised Logistics Services for Data” is one of the potential roles for Telcos in the future as mapped out by Martin. Think FedEx for bits.
  • “Live” voicemail: imagine a service that allowed businesses to (deliberately) not disturb you by placing a message in your voicemail box (“that item’s in stock now”) but also let you interact with the voicemail when it played (“Press 1 to confirm you want that item and we’ll bill, package and deliver it for you”)

And so on. Many, many good ideas and observations covered. Martin and Norman have put the slides online:

I’ve included one of them here:

Thanks to everyone who attended, and to our sponsors: