Grad Profiles highlight the personal and professional stories of Founder Institute Graduates from across the globe.
This profile on HipVoice, a Graduate of the Los Angeles Founder Institute, was written by Emma Tzeng. Founded in 2004 by Darius Gandhi, HipVoice offers push-to-talk technology for enterprise mobile devices.
Long before mobile apps like Voxer and Zello showed up, entrepreneur Darius Gandhi was already hard at work creating the first push-to-talk platform for handheld devices. During this era--the year 2004, to be exact--the release of the first iPhone device was still three years away, and we weren’t hopelessly addicted to our smartphone devices. In fact, the world wasn’t even sure yet what a smartphone was.
Before the mobile industry even thought to merge the words “smart” and “phone” together to describe the handheld information powerhouses that have now weaseled their way into our everyday lives, Gandhi and two other men gathered together with a vision to develop a seamless push-to-talk service that would function across any network and device in the world. They called it HipVoice.
Push-to-talk technology enables phones and other WiFi or mobile network-connected devices to function like walkie-talkies. In this way, users can communicate with one another in groups at a time at the touch of a button.
HipVoice is essentially picking up where Nextel left off. The startup, which focuses solely on enterprise mobile computers from Motorola, Intermec, and Psion, instantly enables these devices to allow warehouse and field workers to communicate with one another in a one-to-one or one-to-many group environment. In this way, HipVoice saves companies thousands of dollars each month in phone bills by eliminating the need for an additional Nextel phone and leveraging already existing mobile computers to perform the push-to-talk task.
Because HipVoice uses data to transfer voice messages, the startup is able to keep costs low and enable users to save messages to listen to later. In addition, the service only takes about three minutes’ time to download and sign up for.
HipVoice is certainly innovative for its time and it’s clear that a demand exists for push-to-talk technology, as the concept has been replicated and reproduced over and over by different businesses throughout the years.
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