MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif, — Omlet Chat, the world’s first open mobile sharing and collaboration platform, launched this past weekend at the SxSW Accelerator competition. Also launching was MobiSocial – the creators of Omlet and a member of the StartX incubator for Stanford-affiliated entrepreneurs. The company’s technology originated from a $10 million National Science Foundation research project in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University to create a “Programmable Open Mobile Internet” (POMI), as an alternative to today’s proprietary social networks.
Omlet’s core technology is a first-of-its-kind chatting and distributed social network platform that lets users own their data in their designated cloud repositories. Omlet’s open standard platform brings together communities, app developers, cloud services, and OEMs to create a new ecosystem that respects data privacy.
“Omlet is the first open chat platform that lets users own and manage their data,” said Professor Monica Lam, co-founder and CEO of MobiSocial. “In a time when users are becoming more aware of the dangers of closed networks that monetize their data, Omlet has created the first open chat platform that gives users the ability to save and manage their data in any way they choose.”
MobiSocial promises never to monetize users’ data in any way. Omlet lets users link their chat accounts to their Box and Dropbox accounts today, with more choices in the future. The company stores users’ data only for two weeks on Omlet’s servers to handle disconnected devices.
While respecting privacy, Omlet Chat is also fun, packed with Do-It-Yourself features so you can create your own style of communication. It is free and completely personalized. In addition, Omlet has three unique capabilities that make it ideal for collaboration and sharing:
First, with Omlet, it is simple to share photos and chat on the fly with large groups. For example, attendees at a wedding can just join a chat broadcast on location to enjoy a joint album – consisting of photos contributed by individual guests – right on their phones. At SXSW, Gabriel & Dresden, the award winning US DJ duo used Omlet during their March 8th show at Kingdom to send pictures from the DJ booth and chat with fans on the dance-floor. The Hatch Pitch event also used Omlet to connect the audience with the pitching startups on March 10.
Secondly, Omlet’s “distributed semantic file system” organizes the shared information so it can be viewed and accessed easily. For example, users can easily look up a photo shared in a wedding chat by just remembering the name of the bride.
And thirdly, Omlet is an open innovation platform upon which users can easily build and spread social apps. An engineer single-handedly improved his team’s productivity by hooking up the Github commit log to their team chat—his GitChat app is available for free. Rishabh Jain, a junior from Harker High School, made Snap, an app that makes shared photos disappear in seconds on top of Omlet. “My friends could not believe that I built Snap in two days and that Snapchat is worth $4 billion,” said Jain.
ASUS, a leading enterprise in the new digital era, is the first OEM to embrace open messaging by integrating Omlet into its new line of smartphones, ZenFone. Debuted at CES 2014, the ZenFone is the world’s first natively social phone. “Owning a mobile device now means that we can own our data and share it with whomever we like easily,” said Lotus Chen, CTO of ASUS. “Thanks to Omlet, our ZenFone series has an unparalleled mobile social experience while giving full confidence of data privacy.”
Also, Stanford University has included Omlet in iStanford, its official mobile app, to facilitate communication on campus. Now, students and faculty can message each other naturally, without having to become “friends” in an external proprietary network or exchange contact information. Stanford is one of more than 70 universities offering students, faculty and staff 25 GB or more of free cloud storage from Box via the Internet2 NET+ initiative. With the combination of Omlet and Box, Stanford offers its students an attractive way to share data without giving it away.
MobiSocial is positioned to drive a new privacy economy by providing a universal monetization-free messaging and app platform that gives the data and power back to their rightful owners – the users.
“The time has come to treat users like customers rather than products,” said Dale Fuller, Chairman of MobiSocial. “Omlet’s core innovation is a major threat to incumbent social networks because it puts the power back in the hands of users.”
MobiSocial is the creator of Omlet, a new chat platform that enables the rapid creation of innovative mobile social apps while letting consumers own their data. MobiSocial is founded by Prof. Monica Lam and her Stanford Computer Science Ph.D. research team, Ben Dodson, T. J. Purtell, and Ian Vo. With the support from a group of visionaries: Dale Fuller (Chairman of MobiSocial and AVG), David Lee (Silicon Image Founder), Patrick Soon-Shiong (Nantworks Founder), Horizons Venture (Li Ka Shing Foundation), Lightspeed Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, and ASUS, MobiSocial has offices in Silicon Valley and Taiwan. For more information, visit omlet.me and www.mobisocial.us.