QuicklyChat, a Y Combinator-backed startup participating in the Summer 2012 program, has an interesting take on video conferencing. With its newly launched solution designed for small teams working remotely, QuicklyChat is trying to bring back ad hoc conversations, which are still the most valuable aspect to the in-office work environment. With its “push-to-talk” video chat system, your co-workers can immediately reach you – but only when your status indicator says you’re not busy.
And here’s the key selling point – that status indicator updates automatically based on what you’re currently doing on your computer. In your IDE coding? It’s red. Surfing Reddit? It’s green. Reading email? It’s probably yellow.
“We think video is really the best way to communicate with anybody,” says co-founder James Harvey, “because you get more context than you do with IM. But Skype and things like that are too formal,” he adds. “It’s like having your phone ringing. You wouldn’t want to have your phone ringing every time someone asked you a 10-second question.”