Hookflash VoiP video conferencing for the iPad

[DEMO Fall 2011] Hookflash is an application for the iPad that combines group video conferencing and group messaging with features specific to corporate phone systems.

Trent Johnsen, Hookflash co-founder and CEO promises that ”millions of iPad users will immediately have access to the powerful communication capabilities previously limited to expensive corporate telephone and video conferencing systems.”

How it works?

Hookflash UI

Instant access to participants’ profiles

The service automatically builds participants profiles from information pulled from business and social networks such as SalesForce.com, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This neat feature would be great for my briefing calls; I will be able to get instant access to background information on the people I am speaking with, a capability I have been dying for!

To access people’s profiles information from other services, Hookflash respects personal privac
y and access data that is publicly available, using web service APIs and open protocols like ActivityStreams. Future Hookflash products will let organizations integrate status updates from workplace services, like Salesforce Chatter and Yammer.

Exit and re-enter conference call easily

According to the company, Hookflash provides better capabilities than popular video chat services (such as Skype) and traditional enterprise phone systems: the user friendly interface leverages the iPad’s touch input and offers greater flexibility by allowing people to go freely in and out a conference call while the other participants continue to interact.

Merge and record video calls

It is also possible to merge two video conferences together and record video calls, a feature that Skype does not directly provide, users need to buy a third party video recorder.

How the use of P2P technology improve the efficiency of VoiP data transmission?

I asked this question to the company, here is the answer:

Our OpenPeer technology helps calls in a few way. First, it helps the users’ apps find each other quickly. Second, it helps the apps discover the fastest route between them. Third, because calls go from client-to-client without a side trip to a server, we can improve the latency between callers. Last, network conditions change even during a call, so OpenPeer adapts quickly to keep your calls going smoothly. In short, OpenPeer helps set up, connect and deliver voice and video calls quickly. 

Beyond the networking, OpenPeer understands how the call sessions are connected. This means apps using OpenPeer’s protocols can build features like call merging (combining two live calls into one group call), conference splitting (what it sounds like), and call transfers; all without servers.

Hookflash UI

Pricing and availability

Hookflash will be available as a limited preview in October 2011.  The service will have a freemium business model, offering regular features for free and having advanced corporate features paid. The company has not released its pricing structure yet.

Hookflash on other mobile devices and Operating Systems

Hookflash will be available next on PC and Mac, and on Android tablets. Smartphone versions will launch later due to the different screen size.

Features highlights

  • One-on-one and group video, voice and chat;
  • View all active conversations in one place;
  • Merge together or divide active group text, voice and video conversations, with a simple swipe of the finger;
  • View real-time social and business profiles right inside Hookflash;
  • Transfer calls at the click of a button;
  •  Record and share previously captured conversations–voice, video and chat.

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