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Ily is taking Family Mobile Phones to the Next Level.

Ily is taking Family Mobile Phones to the Next Level.

Always for­get­ting to call Grand­ma on her birth­day, or just to check in real quick to see how her colonoscopy went? Com­ing soon is a brand new item cre­at­ed just for per­son­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion between fam­i­ly mem­bers. Ily is a con­nect­ed device made for your home which includes smart­phone apps and was devel­oped by New York start­up Insen­si, CEO and founder Ilan Abehas­sera came up with the idea because “When I was work­ing in Cal­i­for­nia for Jive (jobs at Jive), I was trav­el­ing a lot,… and I real­ized that it was hard to stay in touch with my kids. And then I thought about their grand­par­ents as well.”  Ily is tak­ing Fam­i­ly Mobile Phones to the Next Lev­el.

This gave Ilan all the incen­tive he need­ed to design a device that every­one could use safe­ly, with lit­tle fric­tion, and to com­mu­ni­cate with your long-dis­tance fam­i­ly mem­bers. The Ily will run you $200 and should be placed in a kitchen or liv­ing room, make note, it isn’t a tablet so you shouldn’t be drag­ging it around with you. It’s an all in one com­mu­ni­ca­tion box that is prac­ti­cal for all fam­i­ly mem­bers, from kids to grand­par­ents. The inter­face has an 8‑inch touch­screen, a cam­era, a micro­phone, a speak­er, prox­im­i­ty sen­sors as well as tem­per­a­ture and qual­i­ty of air sen­sors. There is also a sep­a­rate hand­set for voice calls.

The dig­i­tal dis­play shows you all your con­nect­ed fam­i­ly mem­bers and once you tap on someone’s pic­ture it will acti­vate your abil­i­ty to make a call, a video call, send a video mes­sage, text mes­sage or draw­ing. If the oth­er par­ty also has an Ily, then it will be a seam­less trans­ac­tion. Now if some­one in the fam­i­ly doesn’t have one, the com­pa­ny is releas­ing an iPhone and Android (jobs at Android) apps so that you can keep up with your fam­i­ly from your smart­phone. Here are so cool aspect to the Ily infra­struc­ture, unlike Face­Time, it works on both Android and iOS, unlike Skype you don’t need to sign in to become reach­able.

Ily is run­ning on some­thing Android calls Fam­i­ly OS, which is a stripped down ver­sion, most­ly keep­ing all of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion fea­tures, and pho­to shar­ing com­po­nents. No web brows­ing and video games, but you can upload pho­tos from the phone up to your Ily. There will be a few extra apps like Spo­ti­fy for music, but the idea is not to con­gest the device with unnec­es­sary soft­ware. You can also replace your land­line phone with Ily as there is a spe­cial land­line port. “Replac­ing the land­line phone is the best way to con­vince grand­par­ents,” Abehas­sera said.

To top it all off, the device keeps a feed his­to­ry of all that has hap­pened on the Ily. You can see if your kid sent a draw­ing to her grand­moth­er for exam­ple, and get your brother’s lat­est pho­tos. “Unlike social net­works, you don’t need to have 50 peo­ple on Ily to make it use­ful,” Abehas­sera said. “Our ini­tial tar­get is fam­i­ly with young chil­dren. Then you can add uncles, aunts, cousins…”. The com­pa­ny is tak­ing pre-orders, all mobile apps will be free and you don’t need a device to use them. If you order them now, you should get yours by fall of this year.

The com­pa­ny raised $2.4 mil­lion and man­aged to attract a team of tal­ent­ed engi­neers. “Our soft­ware team is big­ger than our hard­ware team now,” Abehas­sera said. Hey devel­op­ers, did you read that? Maybe you want to think about toss­ing a resume in the direc­tion of Insen­si, do you see any poten­tial there, we do?

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