Shan Ramanean’s PlayText allows you to listen to a website by dialing a toll free number or by using the PlayText app. That is, it’s possible to access a site with text even without a data connection by simpling dialing a toll-free number. As a tester by day and a developer by night, I do think Ramanean’s on to something here.
The potential for this useful technology is there. Ramanean’s vision for this technology is that even developing countries could use it to deliver news and alerts to people who are living in areas without a data connection. He notes that there are many people who “just use ordinary mobiles without any GPRS and this would allow them to keep tabs on news or information.”
If you’re an Android user, the app allows you to essentially stream the text of a site and even select articles or text links based on an RSS feed. You can download the “podcast” or stream it to your device. This would help visually impaired people have another access point to sites and information. And let’s face it – when it comes to assistive technology for the blind and visually impaired, PlayText could be innovative.
It could also be used to podcast sites to listen to while jogging, walking the dog, or during commutes, road trips, or on long flights.
We thought Ramanean’s Playtext was interesting so we decided to do an interview with the developer himself. Here’s what he had to say about his technology :
So how long have you been involved with the internet and developing?
I’ve been involved with the internet since 2006, my college days.
Do you have an office from which you work on your projects?
Actually, I’m a tester in a Fortune 500 company so I’m working on my development projects after work. Usually, this is at night.
What are your hours like? Are you putting in a lot right now?
Well, this actually part time as I do all this at my home after my official office hours.
When do your best ideas come to you?
I don’t really know because I think continuously without any break. Even while I eat, bath, or while I’m walking I think about something. This enables me to get more ideas.
Where and how do you spend your days right now?
Do you have a favorite book?
My Experiments with Truth – Gandhi’s autobiography.
So what gives you the confidence to have pursued PlayText and your other ideas?
Thinking about to what extent the “benefit for others” is. That gives me the required confidence. As long as my startup or idea benefits others, I’m willing to put my life at risk to achieve. I believe “Life is all about being useful to others.”
What advice would you give to others starting up their own company?
I would say that one should believe in themselves and in their ideas.
What about revenue for PlayText. How will that work?
Eventually, I plan to monetize by inserting audio ads in the calls.
How can our readers get a hold of you?