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Gwabbit is one of 65 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2010 event taking place this week. These companies do pay a fee to present, but our coverage of them remains objective.
Gwabbit has been steadily expanding its solutions for automating the tedious job of collecting and entering your contact information. It has just creaded Gwab-o-sphere, which the company calls the first automatic contact cloud.
The service is akin to a universal remote control for all of your contacts, synchronizing the contacts you have across your phones and social networks. The company looks like it’s on the verge of solving a problem that’s long been a pain for users.
The cloud service uses the same software Gwabbit used for its first app, Gwabbit for Outlook, which it launched at the DEMO conference a year ago. That $19.99 app automatically collects contact information from the emails you receive and pastes them into your contact address book. It is a huge time saver, and it was one of my favorites last year and a DEMOgod award winner.
Now Gwab-o-sphere will let users aggregate all of their contacts in the cloud. The storage on web-based servers allows the company to offer users a backup copy in case they lose their phones. On top of that, the service will let you link all of your contact repositories together. It will take data collected about a friend on your BlackBerry and find all of the friend’s known social contacts on services such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Salesforce.com. You simply click on a Facebook tab and it instantaneously brings up the friend’s contact data on Facebook.
“We will build handshakes to dozens of other contact repositories,” Todd Miller, chief executive of Gwabbit, said in an interview.
The real-time sync function is great because Gwab-o-sphere automatically monitors contacts for changes and then maintains the most current and accurate source of contacts available. It does this in the background. It can also do mash-ups, such as filtering the contact data for people you know who use the FreeConference.com service, which is one of the company’s first partners.
The company, based in Carmel, Calif., was founded in 2008 and was formerly known as Technicopia. It has 10 employees. In August, the company said it was profitable. Miller said he expects to report Gwabbit’s first full profitable quarter in the current first quarter. So far, Gwabbit software has been downloaded more than 200,000 times.
Miller acknowledges there are still some areas to conquer. For instance, he says he still hasn’t figured out if he can do an automated contact collector for the iPhone, since Apple hasn’t clearly communicated whether apps can access a contact address book. And it would also be nice if Gwabbit could integrate data from CardScan business card scanner databases. But so far, the company has made great progress chipping away at its to-do list.
Gwab-o-sphere will be available in the second quarter for free to all Gwabbit users. If you want to connect to certain repositories of data, then Gwabbit may charge fees for that. Those fees will be determined later. The general notion is the service will be free for casual users, while serious business users will likely pay. By the end of 2011, Gwabbit is projecting it will be storing more than 200 million contacts.
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