LAS VEGAS--Here at CES, we were able to sneak a quick demo of MindMeld, a unique voice and video-calling app developed by Google Ventures-funded Expect Labs. The app supports up to eight parties at once, and based on what I saw, I've got high hopes for it.
At first glance, MindMeld might seem like just another Skype clone, but the reality is that this voice-and-video caller offers a layer of functionality that I haven't yet seen in a communications app. What sets it apart is its ability to "listen" to your conversations and add streams of rich content based on what you're talking about. For instance, if you initialize the listening engine, and you and your friends start discussing, say, the Blue Man Group while video chatting, MindMeld will actually pull up a stream of related photos, videos, and articles. From there, you can swipe to the Discovery Panel to see it all. What's more, you can swipe one more time to get to a Sharing Panel, where you can drag related content for your entire party to focus on. The idea is to enrich your conversations with related information from around the Web.
In the demonstration I saw, the experience of swiping between panels and sharing content was seamless, and most of the content that populated the Discovery Panel seemed to be relevant to the conversation being had.
According to representatives from Expect Labs, MindMeld for iPad is slated for release sometime within "the next few weeks." Further down the road, the company plans on releasing apps for the iPhone and Android.