Profile: Gizmo

Company: Gizmo

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Launched: June 30, 2005

What is it?

Gizmo is like skype but is built on open source. It’s available for Mac and Windows (3.1 mb download on windows), with a Linux version promised in August.

A problem with Skype is that it is a closed silo – it will not interconnect with other VOIP systems. Gizmo, however, is built on the open source, standards-based net calling program built by SIPphone. According to Gizmo, there are over 100 applications peering with SIPphone technology (link).

Gizmo has nearly every feature that Skype has, plus a few really cool things Skype doesn’t do. It does lack instant messaging, however. Once it has that, it will be superior to what Skype offers today, and at a much lower price. Here is a feature-by-feature comparison:


We tested a call earlier today and the quality was on par or better than Skype. The user interface is slick and very much what people are used to seeing with Skype and IM clients:

There is no set limit to the number of callers, but they recommend only 4 (or more if people are on mute): “Technically, there is no limit to the number of people that can conference call together on the Gizmo Project system. We have found that as a practical limit, the sound quality degrades once you have more than 4 people. You can get around this limitation by having people put thier Gizmo Project’s on mute while they’re not talking. Using this system of putting everyone on mute, we have had successfull conference calls with as many as 28 people in 11 countries.” Link

Key features:

– open source
– works on SIP standard
– works with any WiFi SIP phone
– free voicemail
– call record (awesome)
– Call in from POTS
– Call out to POTS
– map call location

The “map call” feature is really cool. Clicking on it during a call pulls up a map with lines across the globe showing caller locations:

Call In and Call Out Features:


Michael Robertson


Learn more
Discussion Forum
Michael Robertson
Doc Searls
Om Malik
Chris Holland’s Gizmo Wishlist

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