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It’s been years since many of us said goodbye to our offices and started working from home. During this time, Zoom, Google Meet and Teams have become an integral part of how we stay connected. For people who want to remain anonymous during video calls and believe in the power of decentralization, “Huddle01” has become a popular platform. This new Web3 Video meeting platform uses crypto-native spaces to create an immersive social experience on web and mobile.
Web3 is a decentralized web that challenges the dominance of tech giants by putting power and data in the hands of users, instead of big tech corporations. This means that data is distributed across networks and no single entity owns it.
“The idea was to create a video conferencing app that would be reliable, secure and private for users. An app that would help users communicate regardless of distance, device and access to modern resources,” Ayush Ranjan, 27, co-founder and CEO of Huddle01 tells indianexpress.com.
Huddle01 was developed by two engineering students Ayush Ranjan and Susmit Lavania during COVID-19 when all schools were closed and students were forced to attend online courses. “The main challenge for students has been bandwidth, especially for students in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. The frequent tardiness had a profound impact on students’ learning and understanding,” Lavania (25) said.
Users on Huddle01 are not dependent on central servers to maintain a connection, but you are connected to the nearest host. In simpler terms, the application is built around a peer-to-peer video conferencing solution, which means that a direct connection between two or more devices is facilitated for real-time audio and video streaming.
Ranjan claimed that the latency of the application is reduced to one fifth of server applications like Zoom, Google Meet etc. In video conferencing, low latency means better video quality. To date, the company has held more than 16,000 meetings on Huddle01 with more than 250,000 meeting minutes.
According to Ranjan, Huddle01 is better than any centralized apps like Zoom or Google because it takes care of your privacy, which means it doesn’t store any of your data, so you can share anything with your friends. “No login, no registration, just click.”
However, the app has one popular way of logging in, which is to link your crypto wallet. “We use crypto-wallets to identify unique users, which means we can only store the wallet address and basically can’t do anything with the wallet addresses themselves. The wallets are also completely under the custody of their owners, so we have no access to the wallets except for their wallet addresses,” Lavania said.
Ayush Ranjan, 27, co-founder and CEO of Huddle01, and Susmit Lavania, 25, CTO and co-founder.
What makes Huddle01 special is that anyone can control the meeting. “If you’re in a tier 2 city, it’s natural that your network latency is high, but what if your connection is being fed by someone from another state, probably sitting in a metro city? This is only possible through blockchain,” explained Ranjan.
The company plans to provide economic incentives through cryptocurrencies to its users for powering calls on its network.
For Web3 enthusiasts, Huddle01 has a built-in feature for those who want to show off their NFTs. “…we have a feature where once you connect your crypto wallet to Huddle01, we load your NFT and you can choose your favorite collection as your display profile. We will soon come with NFT AR filters that will cover your face and keep you anonymous,” Lavania noted.
NFTs are no longer JPEGs, but a gateway to limited access to guilds, encounters, parties, and products. NFTs are one of the most prominent primitives in web3. And since web3 is community-based, token-driven meetings become a key component.
Within a few years, Huddle01 plans to transition from online meetings in a 2D screen to a more VR-based environment. “We are actively experimenting with Oculus Quest 2 and plan to launch a beta product of how meetings can be conducted in VR. It will take a few years or a decade or so to completely move away from the current communications technology stack, but it will happen. There is a lot of innovation going on in the user device space to make it accessible to everyone,” Ranjan added.