Video calls have grown dramatically in the recent past — thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. But the growth isn't the only thing that's happening for video calls. Betterment in the virtual experience is also what we're receiving nowadays. Phil Libin, former CEO of note-taking app Evernote, has brought a new app called “Mmhmm” as one of the latest attempts to improve your video calls. The new offering, which has already attracted an investment of $4.5 million (roughly Rs. 33.75 crores), is aimed to let you “control” your virtual room by adding new backgrounds and other details.
Libin says that Mmhmm wants to “make it easier for people to present, inform, [and] entertain over video.” It works as a virtual camera, though it is designed to be for not just a specific app but something that can be used with Google Meet, Zoom, or even YouTube. This means that while using any of these platforms, you'll get the ability to add a virtual background. The background can be a still picture or an animation.
In addition to virtual background support, Mmhmm provides the ability to let you add slides to your video calls. This works similar to how you see slideshows in a TV show. You can also control your slides, backgrounds, or even your presence on the screen using the trackpad or your laptop. Libin explained in a video that you can also shrink, fade out, or even fly your image in the video.
Further, Mmhmm supports AirPlay to let you mirror your iPhone screen in a video call or bring your Web browser window to one of the sides of virtual backgrounds. Libin also demonstrated that a live video can also be a part of your video calls.
On why Libin chose the oddly-sounding moniker for his new solution, he quips, “We call it ‘Mmhmm' because we think it's important to have a name you can say while eating.”
As reported by The Verge, the Mmhmm app is a product of AllTurtles that Libin founded in 2017 — after departing from Evernote. It has also already attracted angel investors including Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, and Eventbrite co-founders Julia and Kevin Hartz.
Initially, Mmhmm is available as an invite-only beta for macOS Catalina users, though its mobile and Windows versions are planned to debut in the coming months. The development team is also working on new features including Dynamic Decks that will let you flip slides as pages and move your image on any part of the slides. Multiuser support is also in the works to let two users control the presentation simultaneously from separate locations.
Libin is planning to offer Mmhmm as a final product to users under a “freemium” business model.
Apps including Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom have provided support to add custom backgrounds. However, Mmhmm is likely to receive some adoption due to its enhanced list of features and cross-platform support.
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