New startup Qwip, which launched today at the DEMO Fall 2011 conference in Silicon Valley, offers users a way to voice their short updates to Twitter and Facebook rather than be forced to type them up.
Qwip’s new iOS app is basically a voice-to-text messaging service. Users record short, 10-second audio messages (Qwips) or 25-second private messages. Those messages are then converted into text, which can be posted on the Qwip app or elsewhere.
“Voice is simply too rich and easy to remain limited to the province of phone calls. Our messaging needs are too diverse to be fulfilled by text alone,” said Qwip founder Taylor Bollman.
Unlike competitors, which are designed around existing texting and podcasting paradigms, Qwip focuses on being a rich communication, Bollman said. “Competitors support unlimited message length, so listening is a burden,” he added.
Bollman said the voice-messaging service will likely be popular among the rapidly expanding population of baby-boomers with smartphones.
Founded in 2011, the San Francisco-based company has under $100,000 in seed funding from a handful of individual investors. The three-person startup — which also includes co-founders Francis Li and Gabi Zuniga — faces competition from similar audio services like Audioboo, Cinch and HeyTell.
Qwip is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2011 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.
[Screenshots of Qwip's iPhone app via Taylor Bollman.]