Switchboard

Turn your phone into a handsfree intercom

#5 Product of the WeekJanuary 30, 2018
+1

Switchboard is your instant voice network. It gives you a hands-free intercom between close friends and colleagues to let you chat more spontaneously, as though you're in the same room. You control your availability so that you're easy to reach when you want and you can focus when you need.

Around the web

Reviews

  • 1125855
    Henna WangStartup enthusiast
    Pros: 

    Voices come through crystal clear + instant connectivity! Really friendly helpdesk person who answers any questions you might have :)

    Cons: 

    It would be even more useful if I could get more friends and colleagues on this!

    Working remotely sometimes means I go days without talking to anyone! I miss the pleasantries around the office, like "how was your weekend", and being able to just walk over to my colleague's desk to discuss something quickly. These critical parts that make up workplace culture are things that email and chat don't fully address. Those were the dark days before there was Switchboard!!

    Henna Wang has used this product for one month.
  • 7902
    Ashish BogawatUX Designer, gamer, geek...
    Pros: 

    Simple and effective. Let's you quickly talk to anyone on the team. Minimal interface. Pretty clear and quick, from what I could tell.

    Cons: 

    Inviting others feels a bit clumsy. The mac app is not stable; crashed once and now doesn't work at all.

    Just tried the mac app, and it seems like exactly what we have been looking for. With a small team spread across multiple floors, the ability to quickly hit someone up is important. Can't wait for Android and/or Windows versions, so everybody can be onboard.

    Ashish Bogawat has used this product for one day.

Discussion

You need to become a Contributor to join the discussion - Find out how.
2034
marymin@marymin
I've been using this for a few weeks with my husband and it's a huge hit in our house! Previously we had set up a private Discord server but found the constant connection distracting with no privacy. With Switchboard I can reach him whenever I need, even if he's got headphones on, without yelling at the top of my voice inside the house. He's happy to not have a yelling wife. 😄 It's also been good to use while coordinating with a remote engineering team, and has replaced our persistent Google Hangouts group. Engineers can focus on work, I can reach them whenever I need, it's a win win. Great product.
590958
Jim RandMakerPro@jimsrand · CEO, Switchboard
@marymin at home use case and remote work, love it... looking forward to see if others use it in both a work and personal / social context!
590958
Jim RandMakerPro@jimsrand · CEO, Switchboard
Hi Hunters! We set out to build something that would change the way we use our voice to communicate. We started with the idea that the most important people in your life, whether they are friends, family or colleagues, no matter where they are, should be available without needing to schedule specific times to meet. What we ended up with is Switchboard, an intercom for your phone that lets you talk to your important contacts instantly when they are available. It is a seemingly simple concept, but thanks to presence indication and other features that make it faster than normal calls or video meetings, it enables more spontaneous conversation as if you’re in the same room. (We also have some really exciting features in the dev builds that will be released into the wild soon...). Our team has been using the product and iterating to build the perfect tool for our own needs. And as a distributed team working on Switchboard from 6 different cities, we put this product through the wringer on a daily basis. Just like Slack, it takes time to work into your normal routines. But also like Slack, once it becomes a part of your routines, you don’t know how you survived without it. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Hope you like it! See you on Switchboard, Jim
525070
Resh Wallaja@resh · CEO, Kachyng
@jimsrand Great stuff! We have a team that's spread out geographically. Assembling people into a call is extremely clunky. When people want to talk, they don't like waiting, and every action (unlock, select app, contact drive up friction and drives down engagement). Over time I have used every type of chat/voice tool (Skype (hate it), Viber, messenger, original Google Chat/Talk, new voice, hangouts, meeting etc.) . Right now we like Facebook's Workplace/Workchat and Whatsapp. Last year I tried to bring Discord into the company and it was awful. The UI/UX was horrible. Your app looks great. I'm going to try it with some team members today. I'll keep you posted. Cheers Resh
590958
Jim RandMakerPro@jimsrand · CEO, Switchboard
@resh awesome, excited to help solve your communication issues. By all means feel free to reach out to myself or one of the makers on SB and we'll make sure we help to iron out any wrinkles. Thanks!
1075861
Michael ReynoldsMaker@michael_reynolds · Product @SwitchboardAudio.com
@jimsrand @resh Hi Resh - wanted to follow up with you and see if you'd be around for a quick chat about what worked / didn't work about Switchboard. I just sent you a friend request on Switchboard, but if you'd rather chat over email I respond to feedback@synervoz.com. Thanks very much in advance for your time.
1268795
Jonah Blankenship@jonah_blankenship
@jimsrand I have an idea, could you contact me privately?
590958
Jim RandMakerPro@jimsrand · CEO, Switchboard
2560
Matt MazzeoHunter@mazzeo
Congrats on the launch team! Things I’m most excited about here: 1. Starting a group voice chat with the ease of sharing a link. It’s bit.ly for phone calls. 2. Taking the friction out of “calling someone” when you’re working in small groups, especially remote. 3. Awesome feature being built into next version 🤯
590958
Jim RandMakerPro@jimsrand · CEO, Switchboard
@mazzeo Thanks for hunting us. We're pretty stoked too. Can't wait to bring the rest of our vision into reality.
13708
Karl Gusner@kgesus · Coder and Creator
As a remote worker, I use switchboard to communicate easily with my coworkers as well as with clients. It's great to be able to talk with my team at anytime like we are in the same room. For clients I love that I can just share a link for them to talk to me without having to signup if they don't want to.
590958
Jim RandMakerPro@jimsrand · CEO, Switchboard
@kgesus awesome, glad you're enjoying the My Channel (link) feature. We built it to help loop people in that don't have the app / an account. Clients are a cool use case, thanks for sharing!
928516
Steve WuPro@stevewu22 · Founder-in-Residence, Atomic
Love what you guys are doing and I'm excited to try this out! We definitely underutilize the power and effectiveness of voice communication in everyday life :) While I see how Switchboard can be effective for remote teams, how do you see it fitting into workflows for the large number of non-remote teams where employees are self-conscious about talking out loud in open-floor spaces? And as a follow-on question, given the above, where do you see Switchboard fitting into the "productivity stack" of Slack, Email, Google Hangouts etc. Is it meant to replace any existing forms of communication or simply exist as another medium we can use?
1084001
Michael Duncan McArthurMaker@gorf · Product Design & User Advocacy
@stevewu22 We’re glad you see the value in humanizing conversation again! With respect to voice in an open space, we do not see Switchboard (nor voice in general) as a replacement for texting or even asynchronous chat. We do see it as enabling real time and voice to capture a larger share of your communication by reducing overall friction. In time, we expect a behavioural shift - not only due to speed, but due to the personal aspects and ability of voice to convey more information (emotion / sarcasm, etc.). Our goal is to bridge the gap between users that need privacy (need texting) and those who need hands-free (voice). Speech to text and text to speech conversions will certainly help us there. There are more features are coming soon, but you may see that one of our current features (illustrated in one of the videos) connects voice messages into Slack with a transcript. We will soon be introducing music features that greatly help in an open office as well. Do keep an eye out here for that. The crux is that your headphones will help you isolate yourself from noise, but not from your colleagues (except when you’re switched off of course!) Longer term we see Switchboard as connecting more than just colleagues. We expect it to allow you to control inbound communication for those most important in your life. Looking forward, when we are “beyond the screen” so to speak, we hope the ability to Switch on and Switch off (to particular sets of people) from any device with microphone & speakers enables people to convey when they want to be in touch, and when they don’t, no matter where they are.