Video Platforms: Be Conversational Online with Less Worry | Panda Anku

By Mehab Qureshi

It’s been years since many of us said goodbye to our offices and started working from home. In that time, Zoom, Google Meet, and Teams have become an integral part of our way of staying connected. But for people who want to stay anonymous on video calls and believe in the power of decentralization, Huddle01 is emerging as the platform of choice. This new Web3 video meeting platform leverages crypto-native premises to create an immersive social experience on both web and mobile.

Web3 ensures a decentralized web that challenges the dominance of tech giants by concentrating power and data in the hands of users rather than large corporations. This means that data is distributed across networks and no single entity owns the information.

“We wanted to develop a video conferencing application that is reliable, secure, and private for users. An app that would help users communicate regardless of distance, device and access to modern resources,” said Ayush Ranjan, 27, co-founder and CEO of Huddle01.

Ayush Ranjan and Susmit Lavania built Huddle01 as engineering students during the pandemic that had forced the students to take online classes. “The main problem for students was bandwidth, especially for students in Tier II and Tier III cities. Frequent delays had a major impact on learning outcomes,” said Lavania, 25.

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On Huddle01, users don’t depend on central servers to keep them connected; Instead, you are connected to your closest host. In simpler terms, the app is based on a peer-to-peer video conferencing solution, which means it enables a direct connection between two or more devices for real-time audio and video streaming.

Ranjan claimed the app’s latency is only a fifth of server-based apps like Zoom and Google Meet. For video conferencing, low latency means better video quality. The company has hosted over 16,000 meetings on Huddle01 to date with over 250,000 minutes of engagement.

According to Ranjan, Huddle01 works better than centralized apps like Zoom and Google, in part because it cares about privacy. This means none of your data is saved and you can share everything with your friends. “No log-in, no sign-up, just huddle your way out,” he put it.

However, the app has a popular way to sign up, which is by linking it to your crypto wallet. “We use crypto wallets to identify unique users, which means we can only store one wallet address, and we’re pretty much useless with wallet addresses alone. Because the wallets are fully in the custody of their owners, we cannot access the wallets other than their addresses,” Lavania said.

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Another feature that makes Huddle01 special is that anyone can power a meeting. “Of course, if you’re in a Tier II city your network latency is high, but what if someone else, probably in a big city, is powering your connection? This is only possible through blockchain,” Ranjan explained. The company plans to use crypto to provide economic incentives for its users to power calls on its network.

For Web3 enthusiasts, Huddle01 has a built-in feature in case they want to show off their NFTs. We have a feature where once you connect your crypto wallet to Huddle01, we can pull your NFTs and you can choose your favorite collection as your viewing profile. We will soon be developing NFT AR filters to cover the user’s face and maintain anonymity,” Lavania said.

NFTs are no longer JPEGs, but a gateway to limited access to guilds, meetings, parties and products. NFTs are also one of the most expressive primitives in web3. And since web3 is community driven, token-gated meetings become a crucial part of the exercise.

In a few years, Huddle01 plans to transition from online meetings in a 2D screen box to meetings in a virtual reality-based environment. “We are actively experimenting with Oculus Quest 2 and plan to launch a beta product for meetings to be held in VR. It will take a few years or a decade or so to fully transition from the current communications technology stack, but it will happen. Significantly, there is a lot of innovation taking place in user terminals to make them affordable for everyone,” added Ranjan.


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