UberConference has been steadily chipping away at the frustrations of telephone conferences since 2011. Now comes the beginning of the end of the dastardly PIN number.
Today UberConference announced that on its paid Pro accounts, it’s putting a stop to the PIN.
Now each customer gets a dedicated 10-digit number. Strings of long digits to get into the right conference line need no longer be stored on a piece of paper, in a digital calendar note, in a text message, or in some other random location.
That’s an improvement for users joining teleconferences while in front of a laptop, although it’s arguably a bigger advancement for people in vehicles who carry just smartphones.
“You’re driving in your car, and the calendar pops up. Switch back to the calendar. Look at the PIN. Switch back to the dialer to enter the PIN. It’s just a very, very painful experience,” said Craig Walker, a cofounder and chief executive of UberConference and formerly founder and chief executive of Grand Central, which became Google Voice.
Teleconferencing hasn’t changed much in the past 25 years, Walker said, and the PIN is no exception.
“You get a PIN, you dial in, you hear a bunch of beeps, you have to ask who’s there, and you don’t know who’s talking,” Walker said.
That’s why the PIN in particular is something UberConference has wanted to eliminate at least since September 2012.
Previously UberConference has added to the conference experience call participants’ pictures and social media feeds, an indication of when a call is being recorded, and buttons to proactively mute participants when their lines get noisy.
UberConference is also rolling out a new Android application today, featuring “absolutely everything that you can do on the web,” Walker said. A new iPhone app is almost finished, he said.
At the same time that UberConference is trying to simplify life for people who join telephone conferences, startups like AnyMeeting, FuzeBox, and Zoom are also doing so.
The company that created UberConference, Firespotter Labs, wants to get more users consistently using the service, and the time may be coming to raise more funding. It most recently took $15 million almost a year and a half ago.