We seemed to have skipped a step when it came to video calling. We went from the family's landline to personal mobile phones, which finally got smart enough for new services like Skype or FaceTime to use as a platform. Finnish startup, TellyBean thinks, however, that somewhere in the middle of this progression that could still hit a large market, especially with the mismatch of how young people connect compared how to you connect with your older relatives. For younger people far away, the basic method of communication for a longer call is Skype, but it's tough to get your older relatives up to the technical level required to run and Skype for a call.
TellyBean provides more of this landline approach for video calls by plugging into TVs rather than through computers or handsets. We covered them last May when they raised a €1.5 million round, and today they've announced a partnership with Doro, the niche handset manufacturer. The Swedish company has been going after the easy-to use mobile phone market that's getting heir handsets into old folks' hands with big buttons and screens.
The new 'plug-and-play' Doro TV Experience powered by Tellybean will use an existing TV sets and a device with an integrated video camera and embedded software to automatically connect with major video calling platforms such as Skype, or video chat via Facebook or Google+.
"Beyond standard telephony, Doro is planning to use technology in a different way to better connect generations. Television is present in most elderly household and is a natural display to see other family members in their home - connected via Skype or video services", says Jérôme Arnaud, Doro's President and CEO in a comment.
The home phone needs an upgrade, so it will be interesting to see how this takes off. After successful Proof of Concept phase, Doro’s plan is to launch the commercial offer during 2014.