Today’s Killer Startup: Room
Enjoy seamless group video chats with friends or colleagues, plus a built in screen sharing function for collaboration no matter where your team is based.
Why It’s A Killer Startup
You’d think that video chat would be pretty, well, done at this point. Skype introduced us to the previously totally SciFi concept, FaceTime made it prettier – and got it on our phones ASAP – and Google Hangouts tackled the whole group chat thing, complete with fun little cartoon-like disguises.
However, despite the fact that at least three major companies are competing for the crown of best video chat software, not one of them has really nailed it. Skype has poor video quality, consistent lag on audio, and tends to drop basically all the time. FaceTime is great quality but doesn’t work so well if you have a shitty internet connection and they haven’t yet introduced group chat. Finally, Google Hangouts makes me feel nauseated with all of that flipping around, plus the quality kind of sucks.
So I kind of figured that if these massive companies couldn’t get it right, then maybe we just weren’t at the point where it COULD be right yet. My discovery of Room today, however, showed me just how wrong that assumption was.
I don’t use the word “disrupt” anymore because I’m a tech journalist and the overuse of that word makes me cringe but I’m going to bring it back for this one: Room has disrupted video chat.
To test its capabilities I enlisted the help of my dad and our mutual friend, author Alex Whitcomb. I signed up for Room (which took, no joke, two seconds) and then created the room for us to chat in. Inviting them was ridiculously easy – I just clicked on the room-specific link to copy it and then sent that link to my guests via Facebook.
Neither my dad nor Alex had to sign up themselves; simply clicking on the link brought them right into the video chat. The app assigned them funny fake names (“Bold Dining Table” for my dad and “Calm Divan” for Alex) but my real name was visible.
The chat experience was seamless once I closed out Skype, which was apparently interfering with Room’s ability to access my microphone and camera. Unlike Google Hangouts, there’s no jumping about – everyone stays in their little square. Unlike Skype, your friend’s voice isn’t completely blocked out if you want to talk too, although it did fade a little bit, which was more like a little reminder to be polite and wait your turn than a total black out of your conversation. And unlike FaceTime, it even worked with my crappy Guatemalan internet connection.
And, to top it all off, Room has built-in screen share capabilities, which makes it perfect for anyone from remote teams to millennials like me trying to teach Mom how to use the internets.
When I asked Alex if he’d be interested in signing up after testing it out with me his response was, “Just did it. This thing is money.”
And he’s right, Room totally is “money,” but it won’t cost you a cent if you sign up now: the service is free.
Boom. Nailed it. Hasta la vista, Skype.
If you’re tired of Skype dropping your calls, drop Skype and check out seamless group video chat with #Room https://room.co/