Today is the launch of an application that will change the way people share and communicate from their smartphones. Until now, if - during a call - you wanted to find the number of a contact or send a photo, you had to end your call in order to use certain applications. Now it is possible to perform these sharing operations during a call, quickly and easily.
Available today, Tuesday 22 May 2012, Sidecar is a new mobile application that brings Smart Calling to smartphones.
It allows you to share videos, photos, contact information, and locations in "See What I See" mode while on the go. The Sidecar application can be downloaded and used free of charge from the Apple App Store and at Google Play.
What's more, users in France can call anyone in the United States and Canada free of charge, even if their correspondent is not a Sidecar user. When the call is completed, the caller receives an SMS inviting them to join the Sidecar user community.
"Until now, voice calls have been a silo in their own right. People who wanted to do more than just talk had to move from the voice call to what they wanted to share with their caller, and vice versa," explains Rob Williams, CEO of Sidecar. "Smart Calling breaks down these barriers and allows people to easily share videos, locations, photos, and contacts while they are on the phone. It makes conversations more fun, expressive and interesting. »
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It is therefore possible to call and share:
- See What I See Video: Users can share amazing videos of what's happening around them.
- Photos: take photos or share photos from their photo library instantly, with other Sidecar users.
- Locations: we can consult an interactive map to see where we are in relation to our correspondents, and share their locations in order to find each other.
- Contact details: exchange contacts and integrate them into their phone books.
- Whisper in Writing: Send a private text message to another user during a conversation to keep talking even when it's difficult to talk.
An unbeatable rate:
- Users can call for free all over the world: as long as both correspondents use the Sidecar application, they can talk to each other for as long as they want for free.
- French users can call the United States and Canada for free, over a Wi-Fi connection: the people called do not need the application. But they do receive an SMS telling them how to download the Sidecar application so that they can enjoy the exclusive "Smart Calling" features later on.
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"There have been remarkable innovations in many areas with smartphones, except for basic phone calls," said Rob Glaser, President and Co-Founder of Sidecar. "More than 800 million people around the world have smartphones. It's time to rethink what a phone call can be. This is Sidecar's mission. »
Uses of Sidecar
Here are a few examples of how Sidecar can be used today:
- Scouting - When you find the perfect group or place to spend the evening, share it easily with your friends so they can join you. Make yourself comfortable in the middle of the animation and activate video sharing. Seeing is believing. And nothing makes it easier to show what's going on. When your friends are ready to party, just share your location and Sidecar will lead them to you.
- Tinkering - Your new apartment is great, but you don't know how to stop that pipe from leaking under the sink. That's all right. Just call Daddy and turn on video sharing: now he can see what you see - or have missed - like that joint you forgot to tighten. Are you missing a piece? Take a picture and share it so Dad can stop by the hardware store to buy it before he comes to see you this weekend.
- The shopping plan - Since your best friend moved out, you've been having trouble keeping in touch. She is in Lille while you are in Paris. But today is shopping day for both of you. Turn on video sharing and show her what you see while you're browsing in your favourite shop. You can even turn on whisper mode so she can tell you what she's thinking without others hearing. Being able to share your impressions and feelings, despite the distance, will allow you to keep the connection like never before.
Prices and availability
Sidecar can be downloaded free of charge for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Calls to other Sidecar users are free worldwide. Calls to non-surcharged phones in the U.S. and Canada are free via a Wi-Fi connection. The operator is likely to charge for data exchanges when the application is used on a 2G/3G network.
About the company
Sidecar has offices in San Francisco and Seattle. Launched in 2011 as SocialEyes, the company renamed itself Sidecar in response to the rapid adoption of smartphones and the opportunity to create a truly innovative telephony experience. Sidecar founders Rob Williams, Rob Glaser and Jeff McLeman share extensive experience in the worlds of mobility, telecommunications, and consumer products. Sidecar is backed by Ignition Ventures, The Webb Investment Network, and Rob Glaser, among other leading individual investors.
Rob Williams, Co-Founder and CEO Rob Williams: Rob Williams is a telecommunications and consumer software visionary who has managed the development of some of the most outstanding software products of the past 20 years. Rob Williams began his career at Microsoft, where he worked for 8 years, primarily in Windows networking and multimedia development. In 2000, Rob Williams founded Avogadro, Inc, a pioneer in mobile instant messaging that was acquired by Openwave in 2001. He joined OpenWave in 2003 to become Senior Vice President and General Manager of its Customer Products Division. Prior to co-founding Sidecar, Williams served as Senior Vice President of Music Products at RealNetworks from 2005 to 2008, helping to develop the award-winning Rhapsody service.
Rob Glaser, Co-Founder and President Rob Glaser: Rob Glaser has played an important role in transforming the Internet into a new mass medium. He founded Real Networks in 1994 and served as its CEO from February 1994 to January 2010, leading the company from its birth to its IPO in 1997, until it generated more than 500 M$ of revenues in 2008. Prior to founding RealNetworks, Rob Glaser spent 10 years at Microsoft, where he held a number of senior management positions, including Vice President of Multimedia and Consumer Systems. Co-founder of Sidecar in May 2010, Rob Glaser is also an investor in Accel Partners, with a focus on social, mobile and digital media. In addition to his commercial activities, Rob Glaser is involved in a number of civic and philanthropic projects. In 1993, he established The Glaser Progress Foundation, which has dedicated more than 25 M$ of donations to the measurement of progress, animal causes, independent media, and AIDS treatment and prevention.
Jeff McLeman, Co-founder and Vice President Jeff McLeman brings more than 34 years of engineering and technology expertise to Sidecar. An accomplished author and speaker, he has been frequently published, has served on the advisory board of several publications, and has been frequently invited by Microsoft - among other event organizers - to speak at developer conferences. Jeff McLeman has held executive positions at Stellar One Corporation, BSQUARE Corporation and SavaJe Technologies. Prior to Sidecar, McLeman was General Manager of RealNetworks, where he oversaw the formation of the UniFi product development team. Prior to joining RealNetworks, McLeman was CEO and President of MochaWorks, Inc., a company specializing in the development of portable media players and the underlying software infrastructure.