Arda Kara and Alexander Blessing are from two pretty different places — Turkey and Germany, respectively — but as students pursuing master’s degrees in computer science at Stanford, they both faced very similar problems when it came to communicating with their family and old friends.
Because of the massive time zone differences between California and Europe, it was pretty much impossible to schedule a time to talk daily on the phone or via Skype. Texts and emails were a bit too cold. Video messages through mobile apps such as SocialCam and Viddy were just a bit too high-maintenance — who wants to have to shave before sending a quick “Hi” to mom and dad?
So they teamed up to build VoiceGem, a simple app for the web and the iPhone that lets you send and receive personal voice messages. VoiceGem, which is part of the current Summer 2012 class at Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator, is launching in public beta today.