Ear Peace

Local company wants to change the way you talk



Brothers Igor, left, and Victor created a system that allows users to send ext messages by speaking into their mobile phones.

Brothers Igor, left, and Victor created a system that allows users to send ext messages by speaking into their mobile phones.

 

While mobile phone advancements are revolutionizing the way folks do business and socialize, they're also making the roads that much scarier as people chat and, God help us, send text messages or browse the Web while behind the wheel. But Yap, a Charlotte-based company, is doing some innovative work with the mobile Web industry that, while unlikely to make obsessive cell phone users any less annoying, could make them less of a hazard.

Launched by brothers Igor and Victor Jablokov, Yap's patent-pending system allows users to send text messages by simply speaking into their mobile phone.

"Texting while driving is obviously dangerous," says Igor. "But you're not going to change human behavior. Yap, in addition to its social utility, will also enable people to be more productive in a safer way."

The software also allows users to query Web services with nothing but their voice. So you can find the nearest Starbucks using Google, get movie times from Yahoo, or check a flight's status on Orbitz.

In 2006, Yap was named a finalist in UNCC's Five Ventures business-plan competition. With startup costs of about $1.5 million, they launched the company in May 2006 with Igor, thirty-four, serving as CEO and Victor, thirty-two, as COO.

Igor says they tapped local angel investors for the startup costs, and they continue to seek venture capitalist funding. He declined to divulge revenue numbers, but indicates that their goal over the next year is to simply break even. "That's a big hurdle for a new technology company, because you have a bunch of scientists, and they aren't cheap."

While Yap's text messaging capability is garnering most of the attention, Igor points out that the platform's ability to access Web services holds great potential. But it also puts them in competition with industry giants like Google and MySpace.

"Frankly I'd rather partner with all those folks than compete," he says. "We're better off layering our technology over their existing methods."

Edit ModuleShow Tags

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Newsletters

Stay up-to-date on all things Charlotte by signing up for our newsletters. Learn more and sign up by clicking here.

 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Blogs »

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Weekend Happenings

The First Friday Gallery Crawl tonight in South End, Saturday markets, and yoga in the garden

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

July 4th Food Events

What better way to celebrate our great country than with lots of food?

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte: Jazz at the Bechtler, Symphony's Celebrate America, and Mamma Mia!

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jared Misner Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Independence Day Weekend in Charlotte

Whether it's a rocket's red glare you're after or the bombs bursting in air, here's your go-to list for the 4th of July happenings in Charlotte.

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Fruit Cobbler

With this versatile dessert, you can use blueberries, blackberries, peaches, or whatever combination you choose

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags