Sunday, September 24 , 2017, 10:47 am | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 
Posted on October 21, 2009 | 11:51 p.m.

Local Tech Startup Company Says, ‘Relax, We’ll Take The Notes’

Cogi captures the content of conversations and meetings

Source: Palmer Jackson

Have you ever hung up after a phone call and wished you could remember exactly what you just committed to? Have you found yourself distracted during an important meeting and realized you missed a critical point? A Santa Barbara company has taken on the challenge of solving this problem.

Cogi was started two and a half years ago by local tech veterans Bob Dolan, Mark Cromack and Palmer Jackson, and the company currently employs 15 people in downtown Santa Barbara.

Like many other local tech startups, the Cogi team is a product of area companies that were either acquired, downsized or have gone away all together. Jackson and Dolan spent more than six years at CallWave, a local Internet telephony company that went public in 2004 and has since shed most of its Santa Barbara employees. Cromack started CrystalVoice Communications, which was acquired by Global IP Solutions in 2007. With their backgrounds in software, telecommunications and Internet services, the Cogi founders began building an innovative way to bring conversations into the digital age.

Cogi is a monthly subscription service that allows users to capture, review and share the content of their important conversations and meetings. For $29.95 per month, subscribers can record their important calls and meetings and have key sections, or even the entire call, converted into text. The recorded call and transcript is available in the subscriber’s “portfolio’” on the Cogi Web site. With a click of a button, the subscriber can review the audio of an important call, read a transcript of the important points, search the content, or share the call and transcript with colleagues. The Cogi “portfolio” is much like your e-mail inbox, except this inbox contains your important calls and meetings. Users can view just the highlights in transcript form, or click a button to view the entire transcript as an HTML page (e.g. the “minutes” of the call or meeting).

Cogi gets into the call stream in two ways. The easiest way is through the downloadable software, which resides on the user’s PC or Mac. The user enters a phone number into the software and Cogi calls the subscriber’s phone and then connects the called party; it does not require VoIP as the calls are made between regular phones. Once the call is established, Cogi is there to let you capture the audio, flag important moments for transcription, or even switch to “off the record” mode, which turns recording off. If subscribers are not at a computer, they can call the Cogi access line and key in the number they’re calling. Cogi is developing iPhone and BlackBerry applications that eliminate the need for two-stage dialing.

Since some of our most important meetings are in-person, Cogi also has a way to capture those conversations with what it calls “Meeting Mode.” For this mode, the user dials the Cogi access line from a conference phone or cell phone and recording begins immediately. Cogi conducts some sophisticated signal processing on the back end to ensure that the audio from calls and meetings ends up sounding better than it would on a phone.

With such a large percentage of our business documents and business communications now in digital form, it’s easy to see how applications like Cogi will become part of our daily lives within a few years. Some of the most obvious target markets for the service include lawyers, accountants, consultants and salespeople ... not to mention journalists!

Wendy Thermos, a news reporter in Los Angeles, uses Cogi for story interviews.

“I’ve been very impressed with Cogi,” she said. “It’s super easy to use and it performs an invaluable service. Once an important conversation floats into the ether, those words are gone forever. But with Cogi, it’s literally right at my fingertips.”

Click here to view a 90-second Cogi demonstration.

— Palmer Jackson is Cogi’s chief operating officer.

 
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >