John Federico (@gadgetboy) talks with Tim Holladay (@timholladay), Co-founder of Crowd Mics.


Full Transcript

John Federico: Welcome to the Event Tech Podcast. I’m John Federico, your host and executive producer, which means I’m the guy who turns the knobs and posts the shows. But, more importantly I find the good guests, and this week is no exception. Joining me today is Tim Holladay, co-founder and older brother, of the duo behind a company called Crowd Mics. Tim how are you?

Tim Holladay: Doing great, John, thank you. Excited to be on the show this is fun.

John Federico: Yeah, likewise. As soon as I saw your product I had to reach out and ask you guys if you wanted to participate. So, let’s talk about that for a moment, before we even get into background. Even back there, now, no no, I’m going against my own rules. Let’s talk a bit about [laughs], let’s talk about, I’m going against my own rules. I’ve made them and now I’m breaking them. Alright, so, Crowd Mics, I like to explain it as I see it, and then I ask our guests to say, no, you got it wrong, or yep you got it right, or hey you said it better than I could. You know, I’ve had that occasionally. So, Crowd Mics allows any organizer to turn, to enable the audience to turn their smart phones into a microphone, so they can do things like, ask questions, perhaps be a part of the conversation whether it be in person or online, but it basically makes, and I’m doing this purposely I’m holding up my phone. It basically takes this phone, and if you flip it upside down and speak into it, it becomes a microphone. Is that basically it?

Tim Holladay: You got the big gist of it, which is turning phone into microphones, and mobile devices I should say, I’ve had tablets.

John Federico: Sure as long as it gets on the network.

Tim Holladay: It gets on the network and has a microphone for the most part. I-O-S and Android we can, we can do it.

John Federico: Excellent, I love that. And I get really excited and an audio geek and a media producer and all that. As soon as I saw it I reached out. So, you guys are recently launched, now let’s talk about how I even knew to reach out to you. Your, I mean you’ve been doing this about a year but, as far as everyone else knows your about 4 weeks old.

Tim Holladay: That’s right. We, February 25th was the day we launched on stage at Launch Festival in San Francisco, it’s kind of a start-up, tech launch conference. You know we had prepared for a few months to get on stage and show Crowd Mics. Quite frankly, what we ended up doing a live demo on stage, in fact you can go watch the demo.

John Federico: Oh, the videos alive? I mean the videos their on the site?

Tim Holladay: The videos there I’ll tell you what and we have it on our YouTube channel as well, but, that was a little bit crazy, in fact, after it’s all done, if you watch it, it’s kind of fun because after it’s all done, Jason the organizer, Jason Calacanis said, you know hey, let’s give these guys props for doing a live demo because live demos are, insane at that type of venue with, you know, you’ve got, what? 1500 people in the crowd, about 3000-4000 connections on the network.

John Federico: Right, easy.

Tim Holladay: It’s a miracle it even worked at all and it barely did but.

John Federico: Yeah, you know, we were just talking you know before we hit the record button about what a big deal that was, and, but, you know it didn’t even dawn on me that you were sharing the same network as everyone else. Wow, props to you because seriously that’s, that’s scary.

Tim Holladay: It was, and I mean we brought, we brought our own equipment just in case but we, we knew that.

John Federico: See I would have done that too, OK. [laughs]

Tim Holladay: Well, but here’s the thing right? So we’re bringing the biggest, baddest router that we could get a hold of, in San Francisco. We actually bought it at Best Buy. You know, $200, that’s great now for you home use or small office but, you know you get an event like that there’s so, I mean they had probably 60 Wi-Fi repeaters lining the halls.

John Federico: Sure.

Tim Holladay: Just, just flooding it with radio frequencies so, it, the good news is have, we’ve built a quick relationship with the network people on site who were awesome and they were very helpful. They set up our own little Crowd Mics SSID, so people could join and do the live demo.

John Federico: OK.

Tim Holladay: It was nuts though it was crazy.

John Federico: That’s great. Well, and the reason that I wanted to bring that up, especially right? Its good nice people know the background and how you guys you know pulled this together but, talk about a testament to the product, right? Its a recently launched product and you used it in probably one of the harshest environments. At least in terms of radio frequency goes, right? One of the harshest environments you were able to demo it. So that’s amazing that’s great.

Tim Holladay: Thank you. Yeah I mean Crowd Mics is, Crowd Mics you know, can be used in that type of, you know, when you’ve got 1500 people in a room. But really it shines when you’ve got a hundred to 300 people, 500 people in the room.

John Federico: Sure.

Tim Holladay: So, our launch video its definitely, kind of a worst case scenario in a way for us. But, you know it proved that it can work, and, that was the idea.

John Federico: Yeah, I mean tech conferences are the worst. And, and when you’ve got tech conferences full of entrepreneurs and VC’s, who are constantly checking every device that they own. Yeah, it’s just, [laughs], it’s pretty crazy. That’s great. So I can’t wait to watch that video myself. So you say we, who’s we? Now I jokingly introduced you as co-founder and older brother so, where’s Shawn?

Tim Holladay: So, Shawn wishes he could be here. Shawn, were 5 Holladay brothers, I’m the oldest, I’m 34, he’s 26, he’s 8 years younger, he’s number 4 in the line.

John Federico: Wow.

Tim Holladay: And, and so as such he’s actually just finishing up school this semester and he’ll be done, but he had a last minute class change, so he, he’s not with us today. He’d love to be, love to be here.

John Federico: Well, maybe, maybe when you guys have another big announcement you know, we’ll have you both back on that’d be great.

Tim Holladay: We’ll be ready, that’ll be great.

John Federico: So it’s you and Shawn so who had the idea originally? I know obviously you know it’s a partnership and you guys work together, you but, but you know, or did you just steal the idea because your the older brother and that’s what we do as older brothers.

Tim; [laughs] You know, Shawn’s the kind of guy that, he always, he’s always got these crazy ideas about random stuff. So it’s no surprise that Shawn came up with an idea, and he did in this case. We happened to be sitting in a meeting together, so we’re sitting side by side in a meeting, about a hundred and fifty people in the room, the presenter is really interactive, asking for a lot of questions and comments, and he got down off, kind of the stage, and was really listening in, but, but when people would respond we just couldn’t hear what they were saying. It’s a classic problem right? I mean everybody’s been at an event were that’s the case. You just can’t hear the questions and comments.

John Federico: Absolutely.

Tim Holladay: And at one point the presenter leaned in and listens to kind of on the other side of the room, listens to the persons comment, and then just stood up and of course they were mic’d and, wow that’s a great comment, thank you, and then moved on.

John Federico: And they didn’t repeat it [laughs].

Tim Holladay: We’re like what? What did he just say? Right?

John Federico: That’s classic, yeah its classic.

Tim Holladay: Shawn’s distracted, he’s got his phone out and he’s sitting there playing with his phone, and then, out of nowhere, he all of a sudden pops up, he’s like Tim, dude, I could Facetime somebody right now across the world and hear them just fine and see them just fine, but I can hear the lady that’s just, that’s right across the room. Is there, there’s gotta be a way, that I can talk into my phone somehow, and be heard over the sound system in this room. And now I, my background, I’ve done some, I’ve done a little start up, I’ve done, some, I’ve worked at some tech companies, a little bit of real estate. But along, throughout all of that, I’ve been a little AV guy on the side right? So, a little mobile equipment, got a little trailer and I go a bunch of little AV events. And so I know AV I know audio, I know, I know how it works, and I’m like dude, why can’t that happen?

John Federico: [laughs]

Tim Holladay: So, so, so then when thought, the original reaction was, that’s gotta be done I mean, let’s just go find this we could use it ourselves, it’s got to be done. And we just, we dug and dug and searched and could not fine, could not find this software solution right? And you can go, you could of course you can rent wireless mics. You can, there’s a couple company that, you know have a hardware solutions, you know hand out little devices, you can respond and talk. But to just use your app, your phone as an app, it just didn’t exist.

John Federico: Yeah, well and it’s interesting as you just said there’s plenty of, of tools, to use that to speak over distances and no one probably thought about the hundred foot distance right? They just.

Tim Holladay: That’s it.

John Federico: It just never came to them, so.

Tim Holladay: That’s right, that’s right.

John Federico: I love it. So, so what I like to say all the time when I talk to event tech companies is the devils in the details, right? Let’s talk about the high level stuff for a minute. So I’m an organizer, and I’m considering using Crowd Mics, no here’s a better idea first. I’m an organizer, do I even think about you? Or do I go to my AV guy? Like how do you guys work?

Tim Holladay: No, It’s kind of funny because we’re not originally from the event world, which is a good thing and a bad thing. Part of the disadvantage of that is that, is that we’ve had to kind of learn how this kind of stuff gets out and gets used.

John Federico: Sure.

Tim Holladay: What we are finding is, when we are exposed to event planners, somehow, you know whether they hear about us through our social media efforts and any kind of marketing effort, they love it. Oh wow, brilliant, love it, great idea. Let’s, you know I’d like to use it at our next event. But what we’re finding is and what we’re setting up actually this next week, is a program for, AV companies, event planners, to, it’s basically to re-sell Crowd Mics. Because we’re finding that if you go to the AV company then they essentially just, they’re the ones that present to their clients as a- Its kind of funny because it’s almost like we’re presenting software as hardware, you know we’re, we’re, because we’re transforming phones into hardware, AV companies can consider it like another wireless microphone.

John Federico: Right.

Tim Holladay: And can sell it like a wireless microphone in the room.

John Federico: Assuming, assuming they understand software right? And I don’t mean that to be pejorative, I mean, it’s completely software right? It’s not just a little hardware and a little hardware and little software, it’s all software, so, there’s a mind shift there, for everyone.

Tim Holladay: There is, there is. And so we’re finding that AV companies are really excited about, being able to re-sell Crowed Mics, even event planners and organizers are excited about up selling to their clients, and we want to offer that to them right now, and that’s kind of, that’s the next step. Now, somebody comes to us and wants to use it out, you know, out of the gate, absolutely we’re set up for that right now. Anybody can just grab it and go for it.

John Federico: Got it, so, but right now but, oh got it. So I could ring you up and say, hey I wanna use this, but for the most part, you’ve figured out that hey that’s probably the better way to get it in people’s hands is to use existing channels.

John Federico: Yeah.

Tim Holladay: That’s right.

John Federico: I agree with that, I agree with that, I mean sure, you know you mentioned earlier about, being, being a good thing and a bad thing, about not being in the events industry. Yeah I think it depends you know, I think it is a good thing to bring a fresh perspective, to, to an industry, because you just think about things differently, you come at it, you know from a different direction. But you hit on the real problem which is its good to know the industry somewhat because, when it comes to selling, not only do you have to know the channels, but, you know, it helps to be empathetic you know, it helps if you’ve been there.

Tim Holladay: That’s right.

John Federico: And, so that’s the flip side to that. That’s a little inside baseball. That’s kind of you know.

Tim Holladay: And you, know and, and because I have, at least on a very small level, set in the back of the room at a sound board, managing, you know, at least the AV side of a number of events over the course of 10 years I at least can understand from that perspective, but not when we start getting into larger events, or from the event planners perspective. I mean most of the time, I almost was kind of the event planner at some of these very small gigs, so I have some level of understanding and sympathy, it’s been great for us to kind of expand, our, our understanding of how it all works.

John Federico: Sure. Yeah, absolutely I think, I think you’re gonna learn a lot in the next few months. [laughs]

Tim Holladay: [laughs] That’s right, that’s right.

John Federico: Alright, alright, so, so, so I’m the organizer, this gets presented to me, either I, I saw about it, I was an early adopter and I rang you up, or, my AV people recommended, either way. OK, so what are the things I need to consider so, obviously when my AV people come in there gonna say we recommend you use this, this new tool, here’s why, oh by the way, this is what you need to have in place to make it work. So, let’s talk about that, because that’s a line item that the organizer needs to consider. So, what do they need to have in place? You said any network device which means, Wi-Fi, and not necessarily cellular networking.

Tim Holladay: That’s right. So there’s 3 things that really need to be in place. Let’s take that first one which is, which is, the Wi-Fi or wireless network. Crowd Mics runs on, it runs using Wi-Fi and that’s the protocol, that’s the, that’s the communication means. The Wi-Fi connection does not have to be connected to the internet, and you and some of your more tech savvy people will immediately get that great. I could just essentially plug a router into the wall, without plugging in the internet, and it will use that wireless communication to run.

John Federico: Right.

Tim Holladay: And that is, that’s the case. Now, if the venue of if, if the event you know, has a network set up and it has the internet connection great. But we don’t need the internet connection because we’re not using, we’re not pushing out to that third party server.

John Federico: Lets, yeah let’s make that clear right? So you’re not pushing out any — you don’t need the internet. You’re not pushing out to the general internet. All that traffic, stays, on the local network, and the benefit of that is, I know what the benefit is, the benefit of that is, tell us.

Tim Holladay: Well, its, it, it, for us the number 1 benefit is, is we can really control, the latency, latency being the delay when you talk into you device and it actually comes out of the sound system. I think that that’s probably the number 1 reason why this is not the, its, its, because it, you know Wi-Fi networks are just now becoming OK enough for, to handle it, and, quiet frankly, the devices that we have in our pockets now are powerful enough to handle, encoding and decoding that audio.

John Federico: Right.

Tim Holladay: You know these dual core and quad core processors we can actually pull it off. If you used Crowd Mics on an older device it will run, but you can tell that it’s struggling, and so, you know, all the forces have combined now for this to be possible. Also the benefit of it running on the local network is that is just doesn’t use any internet bandwidth. And that’s a problem for events, organizer as there contracting for, for an event and for Wi-Fi they’re always, well how much bandwidth do I need? It’s gonna take a lot of bandwidth. It just simply doesn’t. I doesn’t take any internet bandwidth really, I mean there’s a tiny, tiny little check to a server for the presenter to just verify that they are in fact a presenter. That’s it.

John Federico: Right. So in actuality as you mentioned before, you could have, you could set up an access point. You can grab one at Best Buy, order whatever it is, and use that just for the mics. So you can basically tell anyone OK, if you would like to speak up, make sure your connected to this SSID, and you know your, your off to the races.

Tim Holladay: I did that yesterday in a room of about a hundred and 20 people that exactly what we did and it works great. That, so that’s the first piece of hardware that you need to have in place and quite frankly, you know, we know that that’s the hardest piece, is that Wi-Fi. It can be a shady business, so you got like plan A, plan B, and plan C. Plan A is using the venue set up, plan B is bringing your own, and then plan C is, just some other options that we have, that we’re building in the mean time. So you have Wi-Fi set done. Everybody’s connected, the presenter and the audience is connected to the same Wi-Fi. OK, second is, the presenter, the presenter keep in mind, all we’re talking about when we talk about hardware is just peoples devices so even the presenter just holds out their iPhone, pulls out their iPad, pulls up their Samsung tablet, slaps it on the podium, and plugs in, to the sound system with the headphone jack. That’s the connection to the sound system is through the presenter’s device.

John Federico: OK, got it. Which makes perfect sense.

Tim Holladay: Yeah, a done deal. Connected, plugged in, you just gotta tell the A-V company, hey just make sure there’s a plug in up on the podium or wherever that presenters gonna be, you know. Pretty standard stuff, it’s like plugging in your laptop same thing. So, audios plugged in done deal. And really the 3rd thing it’s just, it’s just then everybody else downloading and installing the app, Crowd Mics app.

John Federico: Sure.

Tim Holladay: And that’s you know, its a free download for the audience always, so the audience just you know searches Crowd Mics, its available right now for iOS, and Android. For iOS it does need to be 6 or 7, iOS 6 or iOS 7. For Android it needs to be 4.0 and above. As to KitKat, to run optimally I should say right?

John Federico: Right.

Tim Holladay: And, and, and, and that, that is it, really, when it, when it, comes down to the actual reading part of it, the presenter creates a little event in the app, just you know give it a name, you know, event tech podcast, give it a pass code 1-2-3. Because see look, and I’m getting a little technical here but, imagine you have a venue where there’s 3 or 4 sessions happening simultaneously all on the same Wi-Fi network.

John Federico: [laughs] No I totally understand, yeah.

Tim Holladay: Right. So you don’t want somebody from the next room voicing in and talking over your sound system, so.

John Federico: Right.

Tim Holladay: So, you set up your own even name but you give it a pass code that you give out, verbally, or on the screen, in that room.

John Federico: Right.

Tim Holladay: So now everybody sits down OK there’s the pass code, I’m in I’m good. And once everybody’s kind of connected that way, we’re off to the races.

John Federico: Now that some serious detail, because you know, it’s those thoughts that’s what I always say, and I said earlier it’s all about the details. That is a very serious detail, right? It’s one that had I set down with you and we brainstormed, I probably would have figured it out, but it didn’t come to me immediately. Absolutely you you’ve got multiple sessions [laughs] you know. You end up with a Leslie Nielsen moment. You’ve seen it, I forget what movie that was where he takes is lavalier mic into the men’s room and everybody can hear him and yeah.

Tim Holladay: [laughs] That’s exactly the concern.

John Federico: [laughs]

Tim Holladay: That’s right, that’s right.

John Federico: OK. Got it. So, so is it the same app on both, the client and the server so to speak? It’s not quite a server but, in other words on the sending device and the receiving device, is it the same app?

Tim Holladay: It’s the same app, so what, so even the audience after they download the app and are done with their session, they can turn around and use that same app to be a presenter themselves.

John Federico: Got it, OK. Understood.

Tim Holladay: 1 App, 1 download.

John Federico: So its 1 app, and then but the person needs to basically as you’ve mentioned I think before, put themselves in presenter mode. So, they need to say yeah I’m gonna, I wanna receive audio.

Tim Holladay: Yeah and if, you know they have a crowd, see we allow presenters to try this out for free just, we want people to try it out make sure it works for them. Up to 20 people, up to 20 people connected in a session.

John Federico: OK.

Tim Holladay: And that, that’s for you, you know you and your colleagues around the office to play with it and kind of make sure it works. Past that and then present to them you know, purchases of package from us based on their crowd size you know. Right now we offer 50 people up to 500 people. 500 plus talk to us but, they purchase their package and, so when they, when they create an event, that’s the only little connection where the server just looks to make sure that OK, John, you know he can have up to 200 people, and your good to go.

John Federico: Got it. It checks your license, the status of your license.

Tim Holladay: Checks it, yep, that’s all.

John Federico: OK. Got it. So, while we’re talking about that, so, I would imagine you sell it on an instance basis? So event per event? Or is it day by day? Or what’s the general gist of it, you don’t have to you now, I know your start up and your probably still working on the right pricing so, there’s no need to put that out there. Just, but how do you license it?

Tim Holladay: Yeah, the idea is that, there’s a couple different ways you can, you can use Crowd Mics. A per event type situation, we’ll give you access to Crowd Mics for say, you know, some amount of time, a week or whatever to cover your event. So, you need it for just one event, good to go. We’re also working on a model where if say you’re a trainer, this is something you do 2 times a week, or say you are a school, a school lecture hall, and every, 3 times a week you’ve got 300 students in your class room. That, that’s more of a monthly subscription type of a deal, and we’ll give a little discount if you wanna sign up for that kind of a contract.

John Federico: Sure. And then, but you keep using the word presenter which is interesting because obviously they’re the user, but I never, I you know, as a person involved in events, I don’t think of it that way, right? I work with the organizer, you know, they’re the quarter, they’re the quarter back. So, so then what, how would that work? If I’m an organizer, so OK, we have an event coming up, in, in June, and you know one of the things that we offer is attendance tracking right? We use smart phones to do attendance tracking and that’s cool.

Tim Holladay: Cool.

John Federico: So we figured out with the organizer that there’s gonna be 80 sessions, there. That’s, so that’s 80 presenters. And some of those are panel discussions, right? So we’re talking, you know, a hundred presenters.

Tim Holladay: Right.

John Federico: So, does that mean the organizer needs to license it for each of those individuals? You know, how, how, how would you work, how would you make them happy? [laughs] How would you make it work for both of you?

Tim Holladay: That’s right. All you need to do is purchase a license for the number of concurrent sessions that your running at any given time right? So, so at any moment, you think you know what, we’ll probably have 5 sessions going, or 6 sessions going in 1 moment. That’s the number of licenses that you need because, just think about, think about it more as, I mean kind of think about it as hardware right? I need, I need my Crowd Microphone in this room. So I need a license for this room.

John Federico: Right.

Tim Holladay: After that session, another groups gonna come in, they use the same thing, and same license and they can go for it. That, that’s how you need to think about it. Just think about it, on a concurrent number of sessions throughout the day.

John Federico: OK.

Tim Holladay: And your good to go.

John Federico: Got it.

Tim Holladay: And basically, you’re purchasing a log in, a username and password. That username and password can be used on any device, and you can switch devices. You can’t use them at the same time, but you could, use your iPad, and you can give your client the password and then you know, you kind of decide which device you wanna use to actually present.

John Federico: Got it, OK. Yeah and I wanted to cover that because, you know that is also the benefit of delivering some of these things as as service, verses delivering them as a hardware solution right?

Tim Holladay: Right.

John Federico: You know when you have a physical mic it can only be in 1 place at a time, right? And so you, you, you, have that mic, you rent it, you sell, it, whatever you do, as with this, you can give out a license, and you can accomplish a lot. You can help the organizer accomplish much more, in this model, than they could if they actually had to use wireless mics for every room let’s say. You know and if you’ve got a large crowd you need, 2, 3 wireless mics in the audience just to have that conversation right? But, now you don’t.

Tim Holladay: That’s right.

John Federico: So, so, what, so, the point I’m making here, [laughs] and obviously as everyone knows I’m a cheerleader for event tech OK in general.

Tim Holladay: Sure.

John Federico: So, but people know that coming from me. This actually saves organizers money, and improves the experience. And that’s, that’s, frankly that’s just immediately what I got out of it.

Tim Holladay: Well, and I’m glad you recognized that because that is something that we want to emphasize, you know, you would know better, but we’re finding on average 1 wireless mic, to rent 1 wireless mic for, for crowd interaction as cheapest is $70-80 and as much as 150 is what we’re finding and sometimes even more, per mic, per room you know.

John Federico: Right.

Tim Holladay: Per, per day. So it really can become if you think about it, 6 concurrent sessions, you know you’re talking about some real money. Crowd Mics, you know you’re gonna get, let’s just say, you’re gonna get hundreds of microphones for that same price, that’s the idea.

John Federico: Right, right. Alright so, let’s get down to the last detail in my mind, the big detail. I have an event, I’m gonna pick a number, actually no, let’s use the, let’s use launch as an example.

Tim Holladay: Yeah.

John Federico: You know 1700 people in that room. You know, 1500 whatever it is give or take. If you, now this was your launch even, pawn intended, and you were demoing, so you don’t necessarily want to make it public because who knows what will happen right? But if I wanted to serve, if I wanted to get that, that app has to be on everyone’s phone, or any of the verbose people who want to participate. That app has to be on everyone’s phone in order to participate. How do you do that? How do you prepare the audience ahead of time? It’s hard enough to get them to remember to bring their, their, you now their registration receipt let alone you know, load up an app.

Tim Holladay: Download an app, So, that’s actually a great question, and it might help to understand a little bit that Crowd Mics is not just a microphone, although that is by far our number 1 unique selling feature. We do have text commenting and video polling. And when you get into really big groups, the microphone feature does become, we’ve found at least the feedback has been, look, if I’ve got 1500 people in a room I’m probably not gonna open up toe question and answer, although I might, and I have the option to.

John Federico: Right.

Tim Holladay: But, but often, that happens in a little bit smaller groups. However, how do we get 1500 people at an event, whether they’re in the same room or not, or in a break out session to download Crowd Mics, and quiet frankly there’s no real good answer to that, except that it is required, you do have to have the app downloaded, but we do have a couple exciting things we’re working on the minimize that. We are currently building an A-P-I, were building an S-T-K so that other event apps, can build Crowd Mics functionality, into their app. You know, so you’ve got some of the big players, they could just essentially plug in the microphone into their even app, the, they already have it downloaded. You know hopefully the attendees, and in some case the attendees are required to download the app for certain, functionality within the conference registration for example. And so, we think that will help, but its still not the only solution, but we think that, just not having to have people download 2 apps will be better than trying to get them to do that. You know it’s a matter of the presenter, the organizer I should say, the event organizer doing their best to ask people to, to you know to download and to use Crowd Mics. And we’ve found so far in the 4 weeks that we’ve been alive here, that, you know the different crowds reacted differently. Somewhere very open to it no big deal they’d download, others have more resistance.

John Federico: Yeah, I can see that. I mean even in our business, which you know, people actually pay money, a license fee to use the apps that they download to their phone. And even they don’t, you know they showed up and they didn’t install it. [laughs]

Tim Holladay: Right.

John Federico: And it’s like, wait a minute, come on guys. You liked our product enough to pay for it, but you didn’t install it. Come on.

Tim Holladay: Now I can tell you just, as one little kind of glimpse into the future you know. I mean here is the overall goal of Crowd Mics. The overall goal is that you walk into a, hopefully within the next few months and next few years, we want people to expect to use their phone, like they do as a camera now right? I mean you expect, you see something cool, you pull out your phone and you take a picture, that’s an, that’s an absolute expectation in 2014. We want people to think the same thing about talking. That they can walk into a room that’s got a sound system, I can talk into my phone and I should be able to be heard. We’re not gonna be able to do that just with an I-O-S app, just with an android app, you have to download, we need to branch out. So integration with other apps is great, we’re building web versions of Crowd Mics, so that you can just click a link and, and be using crowd mics, that’s where we’re going.

John Federico: I could see that actually. Its fun, I’m glad you mentioned that so one of the things that I’ve been playing with, not on this show but on another podcast that I produce. We were playing with web R-T-C solutions, you familiar? I’m sure your shaking your head.

Tim Holladay: Absolutely.

John Federico: OK. So that’s jargon and you now I have a friend who produces a radio show and he calls it jargon jail whenever we use acronyms and explain them and I will explain it. So WebRTC, God help me I don’t remember what the acronym stands for, but, I do know what it allows and, there are certain browsers, and this is the universal, WebRTC is a web standard, but it is only supported right now, by Opera, Chrome, and Firefox. And it allows, it allows you to use, using standard HTML. It allows you to use the multimedia capabilities of your device to send and receive audio and video. We’ve had some luck with it. It’s been the audio quality has been very good. You know I’d say on par with what we’re using right now.

Tim Holladay: Sure.

John Federico: And, it looks promising and so I could totally see, you know I could totally see that happening. But.

Tim Holladay: That’s right.

John Federico: Obviously safari needs to support it when they don’t yet.

Tim Holladay: Right.

John Federico: But, they’ll get there. Apple, Apple will get there, so.

Tim Holladay: That’s right. We hope.

John Federico: Excellent. I appreciate it and thank, thank you for sharing incite actually into, into the future because, I think it, it helps for people to know what to expect and why. You know, so there you go. WebRTC could mean that every device in everyone’s hands automatically has the capability, potentially you know, once we, once we reach that point, who knows when that will be but.

Tim Holladay: And you start, you start adding, you start adding other technologies to it, you know I’m sure your, your, you, play to other, familiar with. I began you know, something that, that a lot of event people are talking about where you can approach a physical location whether it’s a registration desk, and all of a sudden.

John Federico: Magic happens, yes.

Tim Holladay: Peoples devices are, yes magic is happening, so imagine that walking into a room, all of a sudden Crowd Mics is downloaded, or not downloaded but enabled, turned on, or you get a link. I mean we’re really looking at any way, what we’re trying to do I mean, and I hope that every technologist is hoping this way, and we’re not the only ones that are, but its just trying to actually get the technology out of the way, I mean that’s, the point is actually to get the, when the technology moves out of the way all of a sudden real human communication can happen. Our goal is to make it so simple and natural, that you just talk and your heard right? You just speak and your voice is heard. That’s where we’re trying to go for it. It’s hard, and it’s gonna take a lot of time and a lot of playing around, but that’s where we’re headed. That’s our goal.

John Federico: I, like that vision, it’s simple but powerful. And your right, I think, I think we will get there eventually. I completely agree now that you mention it. And yeah I’m excited for that. Very cool. Alright well awesome, Tim thank you so much for joining me today. It’s too bad Shawn couldn’t come but again if you guys wanna come back when you have that next version we’d love to have you back on. So if someone wants to reach out and thank you for spending this time with me, how could they do that?

Tim Holladay: Yeah, we appreciate it an thank you John this is, this is truly a pleasure for us. Shawn give his regards. You can catch us, probably one of the easiest ways you can catch us is on Twitter Crowd Mics all one word, you can please email us we just love feedback , we love questions, let us help you out. You can get [email protected] i have no problem anybody emailing us. Catch us on Facebook and everywhere else, on the webs.

John Federico: On the webs yes, yes I refer to them as the interwebs, yes.

Tim Holladay: Interwebs, I was gonna say interwebs.

John Federico: Awesome, thank you Tim. And I wanna thank you our listeners and those viewing those of you on YouTube, for tuning in to this time, tuning in is such an odd phrase. No one tunes in anymore they just, they play stuff on demand. But thank you very much. If you’re watching this on YouTube, thank you, you could, know that you can also find us in iTunes, you can find us on Stitcher and Soundcloud, and a whole bunch of other places. Search for Event Tech Podcast, or me, Gadget Goy, and you’ll surely find The Event Tech Podcast linked with my name at some point. So, until next time this has been the event tech podcast with Tim Holladay from Crowd Mics. Thanks for joining us.

Tim Holladay: Thanks, again. We’ll see you.