In an email interview with TechCrunch UK CEO Ryan Gallagher, said “Essentially the service allows you to assign an email address to a local number. When you call that number you are prompted to record a message which is then packaged as an MP3 file and transmitted via email to the specified contact.”
His pitch is that it allows a user to send an email from any phone to someone while they are mobile (like driving, illegal in the UK by the way) without the need to navigate the mobile phone keyboard or have Net access.
In the UK the local number is 0207183 XXXX but they have numbers around the US, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, France and Singapore. This is assigned when you add the contact. So when you register on ConnectMeAnywhere you get a pool of numbers to allocate either international numbers, or email addresses to. Although ConnectMeAnywhere does not charge anything for the service, users still have to pay their mobile contract/minutes. ConnectMeAnywhere will also soon introduce the ability to choose any of a user’s uploaded contacts from the phone.
Gallagher also gives the following example for using V-Mail: “To call my dad who lives in Vietnam costs me 1.50 per minute from my mobile phone. With our service I can call him for just under 20 pence per minute (using my bundled minutes-32p outside of my minutes) or if I am not in the mood for a lengthy conversation I can just V-mail him at a fraction of the cost. For travellers this is a great way to keep in touch with family back home when on the move.” Or perhaps you want to send an email instead of calling someone but cannot get to a PC. Until there is ubiquitous WiFi, that’s a useful option to have.
Gallagher says that so far ConnectMeAnywhere users are using it for a variety of things from basic email to recording sound bites and memos and sending the V-mail to themselves. Although quite why they wouldn’t just use the very common sound recording facility available on a lot of mobiles these days to do the same thing is a bit of a mystery to TechCrunch UK.
However, a better application might be this: ConnectMeAnywhere is understood to be talking to Trustedplaces.com about allowing it to use the service for voice/live reviews of events and locations. So a TP user could phone up from a Venue and leave a voice review for that venue – useful if someone wants to sample the atmosphere. It’s this kind of B2Bplay which may prove a good route for ConnectMeAnywhere to take.
As TCUK reported last time we covered this area, there are other competitors in this space including TruPhone. Truphone is free software for the mobile which a allocates you a Truphone number. Other “MoIP” providers include JaJah, Skype and Net2Phone.