Aural Attention Economy, Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio, Hearables, Podcasts, VoiceFirst

007 – Hunter McKinley – Apps for an AirPods-Oriented World

Today’s podcast features guest Hunter McKinley, CMO of YAC (Yelling Across Cubicles). This episode explores the future that YAC is helping to build, which is geared around two major developing trends: remote work and the rise of AirPods.

Our conversation begins with Hunter describing a handful of the tools that YAC has built, starting with YAC’s BRB app. It enables you to send 30 second voice clips back and forth, à la a walkie talkie. It might sound simplistic, but that’s the point. It’s aimed at being as intuitive and easy-to-use as possible.

The first time I downloaded and used BRB, one thing that struck me as interesting was that the YAC team integrated Snapkit into its app, meaning that certain aspects of Snapchat are available in the BRB app, such as your Bitmoji. This fascinates me because we’re seeing a new wave of young entrepreneurs like Hunter who are layering in various facets popular in Snapchat and with the younger cohort, into their more commercial and enterprise-type apps.

According to Hunter, the app is designed with remote work in mind, citing a variety of different type of remote teams who could benefit from the ability to quickly send voice messages back and forth. It’s like a fusion between Snapchat and Slack, with users volleying voice messages through each other’s AirPods back and forth.

When I first started writing about voice technology, I wrote extensively about how it represents a new paradigm that can augment and transform use cases that we primarily rely on our smartphones today. YAC’s BRB app is a really good example of this as one can imagine it evolving to the point where no phone is required, but rather, some type of cellular-enabled AirPods that can use something like YAC standalone.

This isn’t to say that voice messaging would flat-out replace something like SMS messaging, but as we discuss throughout the episode, maybe the way we think about messaging in general is being unbundled. What other core use cases that we rely on our smartphones for today, might be transformed by apps similar to BRB that are built for a more hearables, voice-centric form of computing? Those are the type of questions that I’m looking to explore throughout this episode and future discussions.

-Thanks for Reading-

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