“Wait. Did I text or email that article to you? Hold on. Let me open my messaging app. Nope. Let’s try email. Ugh. Not there, either.” —You, probably, lots of times.
Instead of multiple apps that essentially do the same thing, wouldn’t it be great if we had a single app? One where all your emails, messages, shared photos and files, even voice and video calls were in one persistent thread? That’s some futuristic fantasizing, right?
Humans have spent eons figuring out the most efficient ways to communicate with other humans. We created oral histories, the written word, and amazing technology just to communicate with other people. And the tech is amazing. The tools we have at our disposal now, if you really think about what they can do, are mind-blowing. But many of these focus on communication, not connection. And most of these technologies/platforms have a dark side.
If anything, the way we communicate today separates more than it unites. A quick look at any social media platform shows us that. Yet we keep using these tools because that’s all there is. We don’t know a better way than swiping through a gaggle of apps to find a message or figure out if something should be an email or a text.
Things are even more grim when you consider that free email providers and social media companies’ business models are to collect our information, sell it to the highest bidder, and profit. Our personal data is so valuable to these companies (and the advertisers they sell it to) that they are willing to exploit us. This is not how it was supposed to be.
We deserve better.
the path to illumy
I was a kid when I realized I was fascinated by human communication—how to facilitate it and how to make it better, faster, and easier. At 13, I co-created a bulletin board system (precursor to today’s internet). In college, I sold cabling systems for internet providers. And though I hold a degree in finance, my professional pursuits have always been in the communications sector.
As my career advanced, I began to spot an ever-widening gap between what people wanted and what the big players in communication tech were delivering. The way people chose to interact with others was quickly making the phone call obsolete, but businesses couldn’t see the writing on the wall for some reason. Humans want a way to interact that’s like face-to-face conversation but that feels safer and isn’t subject to scheduling and geographic constraints.
I felt like the lone explorer in the telecom world. No one else was even thinking about communication this way. Sure, the Silicon Valley giants were doing great things (and some not-so-great things), but I knew we could do more to advance communications and address our social needs. That’s what inspired me to create something different. So, I reached out to people I knew personally and professionally and assembled a team that’s equal parts talent, enthusiasm, and shared conviction in the belief that the world needed a better way to connect and communicate.
We banded together and bled together to create something special. We call it illumy. And it is amazing.
what is illumy?
At its heart, illumy is about creating more meaningful communication and deeper relationships by having real, engaging conversations. In our fragmented world, illumy brings people together in ways that email, text, and social media simply can’t.
Practically speaking, illumy is email plus messaging, as well as voice and video chat and traditional phone calls. We use peer-to-peer technology to deliver a blazing fast experience. Plus, we’ve built multiple layers of privacy and security into illumy, so you’re in total control of your contact info, your content, your preferences. We’re a people-first communication company, not a data-gathering “big brother.”
Our team has worked hard to develop a way for all of us to fully express ourselves and enrich the meaning and context of our conversations—no more date-sorted inboxes and no need to jump between multiple apps to find all of our messages, calls, or emails.
And unlike the data-peddling social networks, illumy doesn’t commoditize data. Our business model gives members complete control over what they share and keeps ads out of their experience. Plus, illumy can provide very high-tech protection against spam in all forms (email, messaging, and phone). In today’s world where we have to choose to “opt out” of things we don’t want, illumy allows members to “opt in” by choosing who to connect with, what to share, and how to communicate. It’s radically different, but we believe it’s the next step to better human communication and connection.
We also made illumy a simple, interactive experience. Built-in giphy and emoji options, along with amazing quality (HD voice and video) make communicating fun again. It works on smartphones, desktops, and laptops. And soon, it’s coming to tablets, wearables, and other awesome platforms and devices.
Come check out what we’ve been working on at www.illumy.com, and see how empowering it can be to opt in. We want to inspire the world to take back their digital lives and focus on what the power of the internet—and communication—are all about: bringing people together.
Join us in the communication revolution.
Photo by Angela Franklin on Unsplash