New HELLO Products coming soon to Kickstarter

Following HELLO’s successful Kickstarter campaign (1339% funded), Solaborate is launching a new campaign on Kickstarter around the new and improved, along with HELLO Touch TV, HELLO Creator Edition and 2 HELLO Gadget Extensions.

HELLO 2, like its predecessor, turns any TV into a video communication and collaboration device. HELLO 2 does everything users love about the original even better with Alexa support, home automation (Zigbee), and Android games, and also does digital whiteboarding on the new 4K Touch TV. In addition, Gadgets now make HELLO 2 even more useful.

“With HELLO 2 we’re bringing the future of communications to consumers and businesses. It’s truly the next generation of video conferencing and virtual collaboration” explains Labinot Bytyqi, founder, and CEO of HELLO Solaborate platform.


A Smart Companion to your TV

HELLO is not your typical webcam – it is a powerful, all-in-one communication device with a proven platform that supports its features, is affordable, and is useful for both businesses and consumers.

HELLO 2 aims to send the conferencing experience to a whole other level with reliable, feature-rich video conferencing equipment, and significantly improved audio and video quality. The device packs a punch with an improved 4K camera sensor, 4 far-field microphones that work up to 32 feet away, and a 6-core processor.

And on top of supporting any Android app, HELLO 2 now integrates with Slack, Facebook Workplace, DropBox, Google Drive, and Calendar right out of the box.


Video Conferencing and Digital Whiteboarding

Having reliable video conferencing equipment is surprisingly still a challenge today. There are only two options if you want to make video calls with your TV: Buy an expensive Smart TV and add a camera, or spend a small fortune on a Cisco or Polycom video conferencing system which usually involves wasting 15 minutes of every meeting wrestling with the device.

That is why Solaborate introduced HELLO to the Kickstarter community last year, bringing “professional-grade video conferencing to the market with incredibly accessible prices and true cross-platform capability” explains CEO Bytyqi.

However, apart from video conferencing, users will now also be able to turn any call into a whiteboarding session with the brand new 4K HELLO Touch TV, which is a game-changer as a collaborative solution.

Powered by HELLO 2, the HELLO Touch is the smartest and most affordable 4K Touch TV for real-time collaboration, whiteboarding, video conferencing, and wireless sharing. Its primary function is to serve as a shared whiteboard, wherein all parties on the call can share their screens and discuss various solutions by interacting with (drawing on) the Touch TV.

The possibilities are virtually endless, ranging from using the Touch TV for presentations (with the added benefit of both [or more] parties being able to draw on top of the presentation at any time); to discussing UI (User Interface) designs and being able to make changes on the fly; to coordinating operations between surgeons located in different healthcare institutions.

Essentially, teams in various physical locations can now collaborate in real-time, and from any touch-screen device, by pulling up any content they choose.


Enter the Consumer

Apart from the powerful features of the HELLO 2 as the processing unit behind the 4K Touch TV, HELLO 2 also stands apart as a communication and home entertainment companion for any type of TV. Right from the beginning, HELLO 2 turns any TV into a smart TV, and ships with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integrated and ready to use.

Complementing this is the Zigbee home automation protocol present in HELLO. With support for hundreds of existing sensors in the market right out of the box, Zigbee allows fast and easy integration for any smart home.

On top of this, users will now also be able to watch movies or TV shows through streaming apps on the HELLO such as Netflix, Roku TV, or Hulu. The other big addition is the ability to play android games on the TV with the new HELLO game controller, or its software equivalent (Digital Controller).


Privacy First

Privacy takes a front-row seat with the HELLO 2, in the form of two new buttons for privacy control. The buttons allow users to physically disconnect the video and audio feeds, making it impossible for HELLO to be hacked, unless someone physically enters the room and clicks the buttons. This guarantees peace of mind for users who expressed concern with HELLO 1’s security and suggested this feature be included in future iterations of the device.

The HELLO 2 camera now also features night-vision and improved motion and voice-detection, which greatly expands its capability as a security camera. The camera feed can be accessed at any time to check on your child, family, or office, ensuring that everything is as it should be.


Ramped-Up Hardware

The improved super-wide 112-degree field of view lens on the HELLO 2, along with the new automatic tilting enables everyone in the room to be seen, even people sitting close to the camera or at the edges of the room. And the array of four beamforming microphones with noise-cancellation delivers ultra-clear conversations.

Another addition are the HELLO Speakers which allow for music streaming or interaction with Alexa or Google Assistant even when the TV is off. Alternatively, they can be used for sound output with users who use HELLO with computer monitors instead of a TV.


Going Open-Source

A significant change for Solaborate is the new open platform allowing creators to build any hardware device or software application to work with the HELLO infrastructure.

More technically this means HELLO is opening its API’s and SDK’s, whereby hardware or software creators can use the existing source code and HW/SW capabilities to develop any extension for HELLO devices. For example, they can develop Bluetooth microphones, remote control pads, additional speakers, or even a karaoke microphone. And of course, they can monetize their creations.

Solaborate led the way by creating two physical gadgets as examples of the new open platform: The HELLO Game Controller and HELLO Programmable Button.

There is also a special Creator Edition HELLO, which comes in a transparent casing, letting users see the inner workings of the device, and reflecting the new open source ideology in a physical form.


Moving Forward

With HELLO 2, and its upgraded hardware, Solaborate is also looking into equipping classrooms, auditoriums, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and businesses of all sorts with HELLO, to simplify and improve communications, and provide additional capabilities to these institutions.

HELLO is also helping reduce carbon emissions by allowing people to work from home, instead of commuting to work every day. Solaborate is tracking the number of calls being made on its platform and is putting together a website showing the number of carbon emissions saved with every call.

“We believe that reinventing and simplifying communication tools and services represents our greatest opportunity to improve people’s lives and help our planet by reducing everyone’s carbon footprint, “ explains Bytyqi.


Looking Back

Labinot and Mimoza Bytyqi are the sibling co-founders of Solaborate. They are former refugees from the war in Kosovo, fleeing to the US in the hopes of a safe future.

Labinot Bytyqi is the founder and CEO of two technology startups: Solaborate, the first social and collaboration platform dedicated to the technology industry, and CoreALM, an enterprise technology consulting firm.

With Solaborate Labinot has developed two video communications devices, named HELLO 1 and 2, and a 4K Touch-screen TV, dedicated to simplifying communication and collaboration for businesses and consumers. Prior to Solaborate and Core ALM, Labinot spent six years at SAP.

He began as a technical consultant specializing in SAP consulting and led the Application Lifecycle Management Practice in North America. He then moved on to product management and was responsible for Global Field Services portfolio strategy, sales, business development, and go-to-market strategy.

In his final position with SAP, Bytyqi was an Account Executive responsible for managing SAP’s Premier Customer Network of the 28 largest accounts in the Western Region, including: Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Nike, Cisco, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, HP, Disney, Boeing, Warner Brothers, Nestle, T-Mobile, McAfee, McKesson, AMD, eBay, Adobe, Direct TV, and Sony. He helped the company achieve significant growth and revenues, selling $10M of software in 2010. He was named a top Talented Employee for three years in a row and earned a place in the Winners Circle.