Growing up, I lived in a blended family home. It was essentially like The Brady Bunch just without Alice and the general merriment.
Us kids would often keep to ourselves in our bedrooms and would sometimes communicate with our parents via phone – even though we were under the same roof. While I’m acknowledging that it was incredibly lazy, it was convenient.
It helped to cut out the fruitless, across-the-house conversations that would often result in miscommunications. In those times, I wished there had been an intercom system in the house.
This is no longer a problem for people to have as an app has been created that sets up an instant voice network. It was designed for work use or communication with people outside of the home, but this piece of machinery would’ve been very helpful in the Leddin household.
The app is called Switchboard and it creates an intercom for your friends and colleagues. Like a phone, there is a friend/contact list available or you can dial using voice command.
The nice thing about this compared to a regular phone call is that there are availability settings. You can control interruptions by “switching off” to go on Do Not Disturb mode, and it will not list you as available for calls.
Switchboard uses Slack integration that allows users to leave voice messages and automatically have them sent to Slack with a transcript.
“Switchboard is your instant voice network. It gives you a hands-free intercom between close friends and colleagues to let you chat more spontaneously, as though you’re in the same room,” explains developers.
“You control your availability so that you’re easy to reach when you want and you can focus when you need.”
The idea is to make it easier to communicate more efficiently, rather than using text messaging; though most smartphones do have a voice messaging component. While they refer to the app as an “intercom” it definitely reminds me more of walkie talkies, (similar to Voxer which is a walkie talkie app for team communication).
Switchboard is an interesting concept, and is something that could benefit teams that work remotely (or are too lazy to yell down the hall to another office).