The people behind TelCentris, a small mobile phone outfit based out of San Diego, say they want to break down the walled garden between various communication and social media companies, which only want users to interact via their own services.
TelCentris is showing off Voxox, communications software with which two users could theoretically chat with one using AOL instant messenger and the other using Facebook chat, rather than both needing to be on the same service.
TelCentris thinks the concept could be big. Next year when we have fifty million subscribers, we'll have one of those big booths next to Microsoft, said Kevin Hertz, chief technology officer at Telcentris.
While Hertz may have been half-joking, Telcentris' belief in the Voxox concept is very real. Voxox is a unified communication service software, which takes people's voice, text, chat, video, social media, email, fax and content sharing information and it puts it on one interface.
The company significantly overhauled the software and released the latest version at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Hertz said the company did this after listening to user feedback from the beta version of the first Voxox.
People said they wanted a simple, intuitive interface, Hertz said. We tried to give them that.
To simplify from the first version, Telcentris integrated every communication service one user might have with another user into a messenger style window. Thus, no matter the form of communication happens to be, it's all threaded into a single conversation. For voice message, Voxox even features text transcription. It is also multi-lingual.
We even have a translator, so if you're speaking to someone who speaks another language, it will automatically translate it to their language. When they reply back, it will automatically translate back, Hertz said.
Voxox gives its users a free phone number. While on the surface another number could seem like a hassle, Hertz says when users call this number, it will reach out to every number the person has listed. The free number also comes with a virtual assistant that can direct calls to either voice or the person, phone screening and blocking capabilities.
Telcentris says it makes its money via outbound calling to either domestic or international mobiles and landlines, which Hertz says the rates are cheaper than major telecom providers. There are also subscription and unlimited calling plans available. Through a new service on Voxox, users are able to make a VoIP phone call using any device or any method, including SMS text message, mobile, office phone, home phone or computer desktop.
Hertz said Telcentris is currently in the midst of getting the Voxox app for the iPhone approved. He also said there are more mobile apps to come.