We would like to thank Just Orb Me for taking the time to answer all of our questions, thoroughly at that.
TechFaster: What’s one thing you want the world to know about your company?
Just Orb Me: We are ready to revolutionize the way we communicate across space and time.
What does your company do, and how do you do it?:
The Orb is an Oral-Aural-Aura communication device combining speaking, hearing, and luminous radiation. The power of the medium is not only the ability to communicate your message through voice or ambient light, but also that its communication is only experienced by connecting a sender who is ready to express a message with a receiver who is also now welcoming to communication. The JustOrbMe.com project is both a dynamic communication software application and a physical device for receiving the message.
The idea is to communicate your “what”, but to use a medium that allows the receiver to regain some control over the ‘when”, “where” and “how”.
The Orb will attempt to get the world to hear our current thoughts and light the way ahead for a revolution in human communication….plus it’s just pretty cool on its own.
When we don’t want to reach someone at the wrong time we often don’t communicate at all, “Oh, it’s too late, I will send that message later.”, or if we do send our message, we pick a less effective way to express our thought through a text or chat. Even if we segment the way we send our message, all roads still lead to that person’s phone wherever they are at the moment we hit send.
However, The Orb is a portal of intimacy in the way we can reach out and communicate. It allows the sender to express their thought instantly through rich voice and light based emoticons, and it allows the receiver to open this portal and experience your message at the moment they are most welcoming to your thoughts.
The Orb is the location specific non-immediate solution for communication in a world seeking more mobility and instantaneous ways to reach someone….but in a world needing a better way forward.
Why do you do it? What problem are you taking on?
It’s funny today when we say we have left you a message or are messing we refer to text, not voice. A voice mail can almost be described as “the richest form of text”, given voice is so rarely our go to medium for messaging. The Orb allows you to communicate your thoughts by sending your voice-based communication and an emoticon of light to a portal which only plays when the receiver is most welcoming and available for your communication.
When we are in person, we look for social queues before we communicate with someone, “Are they busy?”, “Am I catching them at a good time?”, but how do we do this when we submit our thoughts through our mobile devices?
Without a face-to-face, we can’t tell if the person is occupied or available, not just physically, but if they are truly open and welcoming to the message we want to express.
If you need to talk with someone now, you call them. However, if we have a thought which is not as urgent, or if we want to express something without being a bother at that exact moment, we blindly navigate the various apps and options, guessing at what will be the best way to segment our communication channel.
When urgency is not our primary purpose, we have SnapChat, or text. We have WhatsApp, but not a “When-App” to know the best time to reach you with this thought.
So….what is wrong with how we communicate?
Instead of saying our thought and letting our loved ones hear our message, we select a less effective option to our voice, and we select less effective channels of communication so the person we reach out to would know it is not urgent and would not be bothered at that moment. However, with the 100?s of ways we can send our message from text, email, chats, and more…we are still reaching you that moment on just one device, your phone in your pocket.
Clearly, technology has given us more ways to communicate, but technology is also part of the problem with how we communicate. The focus of communication technology has largely been on the instantaneous of sending the communication. How quickly can it arrive? How many alternatives can we create to make sure we connect? The ability to be mobile with your phone is not enough. We now carry our email, and an ever growing collection of “social” media apps with us as well.
Technology tries to help us with these issues, but the response is to now handcuff us to our Smart Watch or blind us to our incoming alerts on our Google Glasses, so we are really presented with more ways to annoy and not more ways to communicate effectively with those that matter most….that is until there was The Orb.
Tell us your founding story. What was the “ah ha” moment?
There is no “ah ha” moment….every idea you have is just a long continuation of 1000 ideas and projects and failures that have come before it. We have created a few companies, a few failures and a million “wouldn’t it be funny if” ideas that don’t make it past the initial brain storming session. The founders have worked together for 6 years directly in the start-up space. We have built a large number of web applications, software, and sites for thousands of clients around the world, but we decided we wanted to challenge ourselves with creating a project that would be based on a physical device.
The closest to an “ah ha” was in the middle of a busy week at work one of the founders stopped by a friend’s house who was setting up their nursery. In a corner by the crib was the baby shower present he purchased. It was one of those sound machines to help put a baby to sleep. “Hey, I bought it…I should give it a try”, he thought, and he turned it on. The devise began playing relaxing sounds from several options like ocean waves, a rain forest, a lullaby, even a human heart beat, and out from the top was a beam of light projecting images on the ceiling like a night sky and filling the corner of the room with a soft and comforting glow of light.”. There was a strange emotional connection with the devise….with just the most basics of sounds and the simplest of light….it was able to sooth the soul after a hard day at the office. Later that night, he hoped in the shower to get ready for bed, and he suddenly remembered a few things he was suppose to call home about to his parents. However, as it was after 11pm he knew they would be fast asleep. Leaving a message on their home or cell phones would only wake them and make them worry about who might be calling so late. “I guess I could email them later or maybe just remember to call them again later in the week instead of sharing that thought with them now.”…..but then he recalled the experience with the baby sound machine earlier in the day, and he began to wonder if there was a better way.
The next day at work, he walked in and started to retell the story of the day before with the other co-founder of the Orb. The ideas began to flow. The conversation left from the office over to the Lemon Bar and more ideas and thoughts for the software and hardware began to take shape…..but the question still remained….Can you introduce a new piece of technology that solves a problem that people might not recognize that they have? Can you introduce a technology which runs counter to all trends? How do you introduce a local specific and non-immediate form of communication in a world where all current and soon-to-be-technologies are focused on mobility and instantaneousness? (Our phone itself is now to slow, for example, we must post alerts and messages to our watches or glasses.) When introducing new people to the idea, it was often met with some confusion or “Is this a joke?”….but as soon as they began telling people how it could be used or when it would be used and saying how it would work to communicate with your kids or your parents and grandparents, or that friend in another time-zone, or your significant other while you are both on different schedules…..they realized they were quickly winning over an army of future Orb-ers.
Tell us a little bit about the founders
Kelly Dyer and Andrew Ruppar both became friends while freshman at Washington & Lee University. After graduation, Kelly started as a Technology Consultant with Anderson Consulting before joining a technology startup in Utah during the boom days, and after a few years, he launch his first large startup venture, Inventory Source. Later he launched a global software and application development firm called SourceFuse Technologies with offices in Neptune Beach, London, New Delhi and Chandigarh. Andrew was a Middle-market Corporate Banker with Wells Fargo, a Process Consultant with Accenture, and Information Risk Management Consultant with KPMG and later joined Kelly as employee number 3 at Inventory Source and has worked closely with the Source Fuse team as well in the early launch years of that venture. They currently run the operations for both Sourcefuse Technologies and Inventory Source from a quickly growing office space in the heart of the Atlantic & Neptune Beach Town Center, where they are also quite happy with the fact that their large upstairs conference room table converts into a professional poker table when needed and their “Executive Boardroom” is full of several long board options for when the waves are right. Kelly Dyer has his MBA from Duke, and Andrew earned his masters from The London School of Economics & Political Science.
What’s the next step? What do your current goals look like?
“Our goals are simple, but bold. We want to introduce a better way for us all to communicate across distance and time with those who matter most.”, says Andrew of JustOrbMe.com. The plan is to dominate One Spark 2014 and win over the hearts and minds of the 150,000+ visitors with the idea that there is a better way we can all utilize communication technology. “We want people to realize that Marshall McLuhane’s phrase that the “medium is the message” is not something to view as a problem, but for the first time technology can really become a solution for this challenge……or we are just as happy with people smiling saying how cool and fun The Orb will be and that they already can think of a few friends and family that they want to add to their Orb-it and communicate with through voice and light.”, says Andrew.
“After One Spark, we have plans for a direct production run or a Kickstarter Campaign for additional promotion and funding if needed, but we are confident that the votes we will get with people loving the idea at One Spark and even some direct investment will be enough to launch this revolution in communication technology right here in Jacksonville right after the One Spark event.”, says Andrew.