Earlier this year in March, I reconnected with Barak Hachamov, who, along with several other Israeli startup entrepreneurs, had come to Austin, Texas to take part in the annual SXSW Interactive festival.
Barak and his team were taking the wraps off their latest startup, Samba.me, a video messaging app that on a functional level not only lets you send a quick video message, but captures the reaction of the recipient, and sends it back to the sender.
The Samba.me team came to Austin to meet with prospective brands, agencies, partners and investors. They also came to compete – and won as being the best new social app in the highly competitive SXSW Accelerator competition (see related story / interview about Samba.me).
The genesis of Samba.me did not come from the Technion or some great technology company where Israel has so many R&D labs.
It came from Barak simply watching his children and how they were messaging and engaging with their friends.
He observed that while there was certainly the gratification and fun on real time non-verbal communication, what was still missing was seeing how the recipient was responding to text, photo or video that was being sent.
I’ve crossed paths with Barak in my travels to and from Israel keeping up with the evolution of his company. At the recent DLD Conference in Tel Aviv, I learned that that in addition to Samba.me being available on for the iPhone OS, they would soon be announcing its availability for Android.
It was always my belief that more than yet another app, Samba.me represented something that is demonstrative of how human and social behavior is changing through the use of tablets and smart phones.
Often times, we use these devices not as phones or computers in the traditional sense, but as a means of expressing ourselves, communicating with friends, co-workers, family and loved ones across a room, across town, or around the world.
Under the hood, there’s some great code, and some pretty cool things the development team has managed to pull off and is delivering a wonderful and engaging experience.
I suppose one could call this real time asynchronous video communications.
It’s not that complicated.
With Samba.me, it’s really a case two humans using a device that today is bringing millions of us around the world a bit closer together, no matter how far apart we might be.