Remote drinks, but in a fun way! With our new web app Borrel, informal appointments, Friday afternoon drinks and similar events are a lot cooler than with the standard video conference tools.
"More fun and more natural than I would have ever thought possible."
User of Borrel
Digital product development with customers is what we do as a software company primarily. But our engineers also develop their own products. Things that just have to be there, according to us. Similarly, Borrel, which we created during the corona crisis.
Frustrated by the limitations, coldness and callousness of Zoom, Skype, Meet and other online meeting tools, we thought it could be better. Especially for informal gatherings. With the standard applications, they simply remain awkward and stiff. To approach the social aspects and conversation dynamics of a real drink, we have built something new. A kind of first person social, so Fortnite without shooting, but with webcam video and audio, in which remote gathering with a group of people is fun and casual.
An important difference with other online meeting tools is the loose setting of Borrel: a tropical island in 3D. Here you can wander to your heart's content, discover things and talk to other attendees. In Borrel you move around like a kind of flying monitor on which the image of your webcam is shown. So other people just see you as you are. By combining this freedom of movement in an informal environment with real-time video image, it is possible to socialize in small groups in a natural, personal way. And easy to switch between different groups. Or to just chat one-on-one with someone. You see other people present on the island, but thanks to positional audio you only hear the people who are close to you. Breakout rooms like with other meeting tools are therefore not necessary: small groups automatically arise. This makes Borrel a very good virtual alternative for informal meetups of small and larger groups. An online place where you can have that real conversation.
"Our group went from 'wow, this is trippy' to 'why does this feel so much more personal than Zoom?' Really cool!"
User of Borrel
Borrel can be visited for free with a small group of people. But the application is the most fun to use with a larger group. For example with colleagues during a Friday afternoon drink or for team building or with business partners during an informal network meeting. KPN has already used Borrel for an event with a department consisting of 400 people. And during the recent conference of the Veerstichting there were even 800 participants, spread over several islands. Borrel is also ideal for other B2B events such as trade fairs. It is also possible to have a completely different 3D environment made other than a tropical island. The corona crisis makes keeping social meetings in real life more difficult, but with Borrel it is possible to approach that experience very well online.
Borrel runs on a 3D engine in a web browser. So anyone with a computer can easily use the app and send a link to other participants. You do not need VR glasses. Underlying, we have used open source frameworks to make Borrel work properly and safely. Neither the video nor the audio is ever seen, analyzed or saved. In fact, all video conference streams are encrypted.
It's best to try it out for yourself. Will we see you on the Borrel island?
"My colleagues will never want to go back to what we used before."
User of Borrel