AirStream : Stream PC over the Air

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You might have a lot of useful streamable data on your PC, but you are handicapped to use it on your mobile. I don’t know about the future but today due to limitations of phone memory and processing power its not possible to stream big files on your mobile.

Started in 2010 in Pune, AirStream is a startup which targeted this problem and came up with this amazing app. Now, you have to install a app on your PC and Mobile, and you can stream videos directly from your PC to mobile.

With AirStream, access your personal files & media stored in computers from anywhere in the world. You will never miss your personal stuff ever again. When you are at home, the data streaming happens over Home-Network/WLAN without consuming your Internet Bandwidth. When on 3G/4G data streaming is done using AirStream-Sky, a P2P technology Nityaalabs developed. Your data is NEVER transferred through the Servers, respecting your privacy.

To use AirStream, you need to install the Desktop Client for PC, Mac & Windows from here – http://airstream.io/download/

Introducing AirStream-Sky(Beta): With AirStream-Sky you can access your PC data over 3G, 4G or any external WiFi network. You can use your computer as your personal Dropbox, without renting space from them.

This app has got rating of 4.2 out of 5, which tells the utility of the product. It has got 140,000+ downloads across the world without any customer acquisition spend.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit chat with Mr. Jitin Pillai, Co-founder @ AirStream, let see what he has to share with our audience.

Techaloo : When did you start your journey?
Jitin :
We started our company immediately after our college in 2010. But you can say that the seeds were sown right from our engineering days, we always tried out some crazy stuff even then. We launched AirStream last year around same time. AirStream is our third product and before this we had experimented with two more products, one was a Facebook game and other was an Android based IPTV box – SAGA. SAGA was very huge and an interesting project, it would have revolutionized TV like nothing else but being a hardware product it had its own challenges and we couldn’t manage to raise funds for it. So we decided to focus on its software, AirStream was one such feature. 

Techaloo : What made you motivated to join the entrepreneurship community?
Jitin : It can be attributed to many reasons. To start with during school we were inspired by the work of great scientists like Edison & Einstein. During our engineering days as we came to know about the stories of companies like Apple & Google, it felt magical. It is such a simple concept that you try out something and with that you change the world. There was no looking back since then.

Techaloo : Where are you based out of?
Jitin : Pune

Techaloo : How did this Idea come to your mind?
Jitin : As I mentioned the idea originated while building SAGA. Then we needed content for our users so that they can view on TV. We realized that being a startup and without a significant user base big Media Houses wouldn’t entertain us. The best option was to provide the content users already possessed i.e. content from their Computers & Hard Drives, we have so much movies & songs stored in our computers. We made AirStream for TV and it was well received. Later we realized that it can be extended even to Smartphones & Tablets.

Techaloo : Why the name AirStream?
Jitin : It clearly explains our use case. We have so much stuff stored in our computers and we mostly use our mobile devices. So it is basically streaming stuff over air. Hence the name ‘AirStream’

Techaloo : What was your vision/mission while starting Airstream?
Jitin : To make it very simple to access, consume & share content no matter from where it is…

Techaloo : What hurdles did you face while starting?
Jitin : Quite a few, but we believe it is quite common what most entrepreneurs go through. During our earlier days it was financial, especially when 2 guys out of college try to run a company without any savings. Then while building SAGA we couldn’t generate much Investor interest as market conditions were not conducive for Hardware Startups in India. But there are some lessons that entrepreneurs need to learn through experience, we take it in a positive way.

Techaloo : What is the role of Nityaa Labs?
Jitin : ‘Nityaa’ is a Sanskrit term for eternity and ‘Labs’ is where experimentation happens, where things are created. So our ultimate goal is build an organization, which can keep churning out innovative products. ‘Nityaa Labs’ is the name of our company and ‘AirStream’ our product.

Techaloo : Have you got any kind of funding? Or are you planning for the same?
Jitin : Last year we got incubated by GSF accelerator. So we received funds that will help us sustain for next 5-6 months. We are also attempting to raise funds to accelerate our further development.

Techaloo : How does AirStream work?
Jitin : It is quite simple, you need to download & install the desktop client and mobile app. Then you need to login using same credentials on both the devices. That’s it, you would be able to access all the contents from your computer on Mobile devices. If you are on the same Wi-Fi network the data transfer won’t consume any internet usage, else if you are on 3G/4G bandwidth will be consumed based on usage. But in any case no data is stored or transferred through our servers.

Techaloo : What are the limitations for phone memory?
Jitin : Phone memory is limited at 16GB or max at 64GB. And the personal stuff that we own i.e. our movies, music, etc. goes beyond 500GB. There is a big disconnect between both these worlds. AirStream helps to plug that.

Techaloo : Does it stream directly from PC?
Jitin : Yes. That is the magic of AirStream. You just need to install a desktop client & install the mobile app and you can stream content from your computer directly on your mobile devices. It is as seamless as accessing Dropbox from your mobile devices

Techaloo : What countries are you getting your users from?
Jitin : People from all over the world are using our app. We are recording maximum usage from US & Europe. We have 7% users from India. And we are very happy about it because we achieved this without any customer acquisition spends or ads and secondly there is little bit of friction involved while setting up AirStream, you need to install the Desktop client & the mobile app, etc. This clearly indicated the very need for a software like ours.

Techaloo : How is the response till now?
Jitin : Response has been awesome. From the time we launched last year, every day we are recording good number of downloads. Even more interesting has been the user feedback & suggestions, people keep coming back to us asking whether we can build this particular feature, or remove a particular feature, or whether we can change the background color & so on. In fact this is the most interesting part of product building, where what you build touches lives.

Techaloo : What are your plans for next 3 years?
Jitin : Total world dominance. Just Kidding! We have a great momentum going and user engagement is also increasing. So we intend to build more on this. We would be adding support for multiple cloud services & and also work on sharing & collaboration features. We believe with this it would be a total game changer.

Techaloo : When can we see the latest version?
Jitin : By the first week of Feb our next version would be out which will have some more cool features.

Techaloo : What do you think about techaloo.com?
Jitin : Techaloo is a great platform, a media channel for Technology but with more focus on stories behind them. We especially like your mission of fostering entrepreneurship at the College level, it’s much needed in our country. Don’t know if any other channel is moving along with this intent.

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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