A relatively new startup out of San Jose just released a Beta version of its instant voicemail service delivered to any of your eMail contact lists. The company, PINGER (not the river in Thailand), is exclusively funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

Considered to be an “early adapter” I tapped into the site, registered and was up and running with several hundred contacts in just three minutes. The first voicemail was placed to my own eMail account at Gmail from my cellphone. The interface proved simple and easy to navigate. The pick-up on the other end was just as smooth with no prompting required by the recipient. Voice quality was surprisingly good.

Cost for the service, at least for now, is free. I suspect support in the form of text advertising will keep the service free for the most part with few, if any, complaints. Volume users will also be charged a fee for excess messages.

For now, it’s a novel way to send voice messages to a contact that might not otherwise want to be bothered by phone messages. Down the road, I can see its integration with a host of business applications. It can also be a boon to the visually impaired and those individuals that don’t have easy access to a PC.

Take Pinger for a spin …. …. and PING! me with your comments.

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