Next-gen video calls for a new era of work

#4 Product of the MonthMarch 2020
Quick, next-gen video calls. Around combines inventions in audio technology & a fresh perspective on video UI. Introducing major inventions in signal processing, AI-based background noise filtering, voice proximity detection, and UX.
Would you recommend this product?
31 Reviews3.7/5
Hello ProductHunt! UPDATE: Feel free to send me a DM on Twitter to prioritize your Early Access! PH community will receive invites with priority. Dominik here, the Maker and CEO of Around: quick, high-impact calls you can use with anyone by just sharing a link, or firing it up directly from Slack. No team setup required and no "virtual taps on your shoulder". Around respects your time and privacy, and that's why we've built all the technology behind it -- to make it even less distracting than any other video calling products on the market. Around is primarily a hard tech company -- great audio and video is a real science, and off-the-shelf services and libraries are far from great. So we went heads down for 2 years and wrote all the audio and video greatness ourselves. Certainly, a smaller video crop is not a new idea -- it's the lengths we've gone to make small video actually amazing. AI-based face-tracking keeps faces properly cropped and zoomed. The difference between not having this technology and having it is night and day in terms of amazing UX. No matter how far and at what angle (relative to the camera) anyone sits, eye contact is maintained and balanced, and nobody appears disproportionately small. We've put a lot of attention into calibrating it for a smooth experience. Optional filters normalize color tones to set a "vibe" - nobody ever has to feel self-conscious about their hair, skin, or feel vampire-awkward when connecting at night due to differences in time zones. In the audio department, our goal was to make calls absurdly silent. It's so silent, you wonder if the call dropped -- it takes time to get used to. An AI model we've been training for more than a year eliminates (or heavily suppresses) any common noise you can imagine. You can literally blend your smoothie in a 1000-watt Ninja blender next to the microphone, and nothing will go through. If you're speaking at the same time, voice is prioritized and the noise heavily suppressed. Icing on the cake: multiple laptops in one space, no echo. A complex set of buffering and latency-synchronization algorithms keep all laptops in sync, and Around even highlights the person currently talking in the room, thanks to voice-proximity algorithms we've developed with world-class DSP scientists. We now have close to 10,000 Early Access signups in the first 48 hours since launching. Thank you for being interested in what we've built and we'll be processing invites in batches so you can enjoy Around with us soon. AMA below!
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@dominikbalogh super stoked for the launch. Can’t wait to try it with my team. Cheers Dom. DM’ed.
@dominikbalogh Sounds cool. I'd really like to try it out myself. I use video calling for at least 5 hours a day at the moment, so this sounds like a bit of a revolution.
@dominikbalogh Would be interested to trial your product with my startup team.
@dominikbalogh Would love to test this out with my startup team. I don't have Twitter but submitted an early access request through the site. This is great- best of luck!
@dominikbalogh Sent you guys a message on Twitter!
Alexis Ohanian here from Initialized Capital! We've invested in Around in 2018 when it was still in stealth. I'll let Dominik, the Maker (CEO) tell the story below :)
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It's always super frustrating when a product 'launches' on here, but you can't access it, see a demo, or do anything other than give your email address. Would love it if PH required you to actually have a usable product to launch on here!
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@robjbye Hi Robert, I totally feel you and share your frustration! I'd like to explain why we send invites in batches. Real-time video is very demanding on the infrastructure and bandwidth. Users only give products like ours one chance -- it has to work stable and smooth. To make sure that we "flatten the curve" and everyone is getting the best possible experience, we're bringing in users at a sustainable pace while monitoring our infrastructure. Thank you for your understanding and if you share your email address with me (you can Tweet my DMs), I'll try to make sure you get priority access. Stay tuned, coming soon :)
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@dominikbalogh Hey Dominik, I totally understand it's important to have a progressive rollout, but it's still frustrating as people want to use and try things out at launch. Yac Chat seemed to have had a progressive rollout over the last few months, so their launch today is when everyone gets to try it without being on a wait list. That method feels a lot more attractive to me.
@robjbye Fair point! We're in a progressive rollout period right now and will be prioritizing access to the PH community. If you share your sign-up email address we'll get back to you ASAP.
@dominikbalogh Agreed with @robjbye plus with so much people working from home now, it's the best time to onboard users as they might use it daily, thus forming a new habit over existing tools. Me and my team are a good example. Usually we don't work remote and Slack is enough. Now that we work in remote every day, we feel the need for a tool like yours.
@dominikbalogh here's my signup email Your DMs don't seem to be open on Twitter.
I'll come back when I can use it :-)
@danielkempe I can put in a good word for you....
@danielkempe @alexisohanian Got a couple of those words? ;)
This is an amazing antidote to being stuck inside a rectangle and unable to collaborate. Zoom is good but Around is essential for actually doing work like you are sitting next to someone.