Will a ‘Voxie’ Led To India’s First Global Internet Product?

Screen shot_website_VoxWeb
Why Selfie when you can ‘Voxie’

Over the last couple of weeks If you have passed by young teenagers taking selfie in and around Mumbai and Delhi’s coffee-shops or selfie obsessed visitors at Gateway of India, Marine Drive and Connaught Place you wouldn’t be blamed for noticing the same people shouting,, murmuring or even laughing on the captured selfies. These are not reactions after taking a pic but a new ritual to add your voice, tone and feelings to the selfie itself to create speaking selfies or ‘voxies’ as they have been termed.

The craze was amplified when actress Priyanka Chopra used a voxie to thank her fans after winning the People’s Choice Awards and Amitabh Bachchan shared a ‘speaking poster’ of Wazir on his social media pages to promote the film among millennials and younger audience.

Speaking pics are created by and consumed on VoxWeb, an app developed by a small group of designers and developers led by 30 year old IIT Kanpur alum Yash Mishra. To create a ‘voxie’, a user can use VoxWeb camera to take a photo and add up to 11 seconds of voice note – in lieu of text caption – to give perspective to the pic. The resultant ‘speaking pic’ is displayed as an image underline by an orange line. This orange line helps the recipient identify speaking pictures which can be heard upon tapping the pic.

After remaining in public beta for weeks, the app went live in 100+ countries during Mood Indigo, the cultural festival of IIT Bombay in December. A ‘voxie booth’ was set up inside the campus that saw large serpentine queues over the 4 days of the fest as thousands of students waited to get their first ever voxie created.

In January Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra – who were also coincidentally selected as new Incredible India brand ambassadors – first ever voxies went viral on social media with Priyanka Chopra’s voxie after People’s Choice Awards getting more than 75,000 likes within few hours of the post.

Yash Mishra, the inventor of voxie could not be reached out to comment on these chain of events but a VoxWeb spokesperson in a written response said “our team is not motivated by pursuit of profits or market-share, with VoxWeb we have now a realistic chance of creating the first ever global consumer internet product from India. Indian startups are mocked as copy-cats of successful western ideas but we hope VoxWeb will inspire Indian entrepreneurs to design and develop refreshingly new products which can be used by people from around the world”.

The spokesperson also added that “the network structure of VoxWeb social network has been designed to solve a major problem in global communication and a feature will be launched at some point in future which will make internet communication far more potent and effective.”

The review of the VoxWeb app by users on Google Play pages and by bloggers has been positive so far with people praising the poetic nature of the social networking app, in sharp contrast to other social popular social media platforms. Some even wrote that consuming a speaking pic is such an amazing experience that they now look out for the orange line beneath any photo they come across.

Priyanka chopra voxie

Actor Priyanka Chopra using Voxie (image source – twitter)

The app also has a 4 second selfie timer which will capture atmosphere of the selfie – live music in concerts, stadium chores, party song, etc. thus giving it an edge over other selfie timers. The ability to capture sound with the picture gives the recipient a more vivid idea of emotions and atmosphere that are captured.

Within few hours of posting by B-town, tons of remarkable speaking pics from concerts, stadiums, university campuses, popular streets such as Marine Drive in Mumabai and Champs Elysees in Paris were posted from around the world on Facebook and Twitter as people took to voxies to share moments in an unprecedented way and made usual text captions on pics look dull and boring.

Voxies have captured the imagination of those who had been carving for a rich and innovative communication and image sharing platform like this for quite some time now.

To explore Voxie CLICK HERE

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