Why Chirp is revolutionary
Someone on Sand Hill Road should throw a hundred million dollars at Animal Systems immediately. For starters, every major company in Silicon Valley is going to want to buy it, from Apple to Google to Twitter to Facebook to Microsoft, and incorporate it into their offerings. Chirp should hold out and make it a universal standard.
But more importantly, Chirp solves all kinds of problems or, rather, radically improves the process of sharing content in very specific ways. For example, remember Color? That app enabled strangers at a party to share photos without logging in. By simply using the app, pictures taken by other Color users simply popped up on your screen, along with every picture they'd ever taken ever using Color. Excitement about Color was largely drowned out by criticism of privacy violations and fears about creepy snooping. Since then, lots of companies have been trying to figure out how to enable location-specific, ad hoc social networks where strangers in the same location can easily exchange words and pictures.
Chirp is a fantastic alternative to Color, because it's so instantaneous and easy to use, and because the sharing won't penetrate through walls and out into the street, like Color did. With alternatives, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, texting, website uploading and others, there is some requirement for pairing devices, entering in passwords, logging in, addressing messages and other barriers.
With Chirp, you press one button to send. The recipient does nothing except open the app to get a Twitter-like stream of all incoming chirps. Note that because Chirp uses sound, you can transmit data over a phone as easily as someone in the room.
Chirps can be viral. When you receive a chirp, it appears on your phone's screen inside the Chirp app, right above the yellow button. The second you get a chirp, you can press the button to send it.
But here's the mind-blowing part: As cool as Chirp is for fun, personal sharing, it's even better for mass communications. For example, TV shows constantly tell viewers to follow them on Twitter or go to some website. What they're doing is giving the audience a homework assignment, making them type a code in order to receive some information. However, with Chirp, TV shows could just play the chirps. Viewers watching at home would passively receive all the content chirped by the show.
TV shows could allow photo "uploads" by phone, too. You can imagine TV shows providing a number that has an answering machine. Users could snap a picture, then leave the chirp of the picture as a message on the machine.
It works just as well on radio, on podcasts, in videos and any situation where sound is involved. For example, the Chirp demonstration video casually throws in some chirps. And if you have the app running while you watch the video, the picture in the video is magically transferred to your phone. You can hold a phone up to a microphone in a crowded auditorium -- or embed the sound file in your slides -- and everyone in the room can get a copy of your slides.