PhoneTopp has announced an online conference and collaboration tool for use with smartphones – initially only for the iPhone and the Blackberry Bold.

Intended to allow desktop conferencing on high end handset, PhoneTopp currently has an alpha product available and will be releasing a public beta in Q1 2009.

The company plans to charge subscriptions fees, estimated at USD $8 per month.

Tom Barsi, CEO of PhoneTopp, said that until now, only people sitting at their computer in a pre-arranged meeting could participate in a web conference.

"Holding back expansion of web conferencing is tying the user to the desk,” he said “The proliferation of smart phones capable of running web conferencing allows PhoneTopp to lead an opportunity that will dramatically change business communication – enabling true ‘adhoc’ mobile collaboration.”

Gartner estimates the web/audio collaboration market to be USD $5 billion today.

In 2010, the consultants forecasts web conferencing will be available to 75 per cent of corporate users as standard facility alongside email, presence and calendaring.

The PhoneTopp system software runs a thin client-computing model, hosted by the company on the Amazon EC2 cloud.

The architecture off-loads computer intensive tasks to the datacenter, saving on power dissipation and network traffic.

PhoneTopp said its patent work around adaptive virtualization protocol (PAV) reduces “over the air” latency to an estimated 5 seconds.

The protocol takes on the difficult task of managing multiple streams to the smartphone while dynamically adapting and optimizing how the content gets pushed based on the available bandwidth.

From now through the end of 2008, PhoneTopp is encouraging early beta sign-ups with an incentive of three months free service when launched.

Interested parties should go to and input their email address for follow-up.

The hope is to also have support for more smartphones by next year, possibly including Google’s Android platform.

When commercially launched, PhoneTopp will first allow users to host or participate in a web meeting directly from their smartphone, through a simple click-to-collaborate approach that includes the ability to:

  • accept an invitation via text message to join a web conference
  • answer a phone call that launches an application to participate in the meeting, with no phone numbers or passwords to remember
  • navigate and zoom natively with integrated tools, including a PhoneTopp-developed “mobile rewind” capability that allows users to independently go back within the presentation if they missed a slide.

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