You might think serial entrepreneur Angel Munoz has a lot of chutzpah thinking his company’s new video communications platform has a shot at knocking off big rivals like Zoom, Teams, Skype, Webex, and BlueJeans. But the founder, president, and CEO of Dallas-based Mass Luminosity contends it’s more a matter of inevitability than anything else.
“The powers of yesterday will not be the powers of tomorrow,” he says. “The winds of change are in my favor—and against them.”
What’s got Munoz waxing so confident is Beacon MAX, the company’s all-new, next-generation video communications platform that’s rolling out this Thursday, May 18. The platform’s first subscription product, Beacon MAX is the successor to the free, entry-level Beacon X, which launched in 2021 and now has 700,000 users.
Where Beacon X’s selling points were simplicity, privacy, and audio/visual clarity, Beacon MAX ramps up those virtues with a number of technological innovations, including the use of artificial intelligence. Munoz says the company partnered on the product from the beginning with Silicon Valley’s OpenAI, with access to its ChatGPT-3, ChatGPT-3.5, and ChatGPT-4.
Beacon MAX, which can be accessed from a web browser, will include cutting-edge advancements such as:
Widescreen Ultra HD 4K video resolution, at 30 frames per second.
Interpreter, a new multi-party, AI-enhanced protocol offering real-time translation in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, and Russian.
An Alexa-like, AI virtual assistant called SAMI, short for Socially Advanced Machine Intelligence. Besides quickly providing relevant information, SAMI responds to commands like, “SAMI, take a picture,” and, upon request, can arrange for someone to be added to the video call in real time, for instance.
Instant Transfer, a technology that seamlessly transfers scheduled calls between the desktop browser, say, and a laptop and a mobile phone.
Beacon Voice, a pioneering in-network calling system that works within the Beacon MAX dashboard, enabling the placement of regular phone calls to anyone, whether or not they’re a Beacon user.
New Quantum technology for sharing any size file with anyone, at any time.
A cooperative, AI-integrated mode called Transformer, which can summarize calls or videos, for example, or turn the content of videos into interactive experiences.
“Three or four years ago, we demonstrated to our shareholders and partners what we thought Beacon Max would be,” Munoz says. “Our chairman said, ‘That looks like magic; it looks like it’s completely unrealistic.’ And I said, ‘Give us three years and you’ll see.’ “
Mass Luminosity, founded in 2011 for the purpose of “integrating people into augmented virtual environments,” created its Beacon Technologies subsidiary in 2020 to focus on audio visual communications solutions. Munoz, often called the father of the global esports industry for an earlier phase in his career, says to date the company has raised $4.5 million and may eventually go public.
Earlier this year, it announced a partnership with Manny Pacquiao—ranked as the greatest left-handed boxer of all time—and his Manny Pacquiao Foundation. The boxing great is serving as Beacon’s brand ambassador and, in return, Beacon is donating a percentage of its gross revenue to the foundation.
Munoz says it was Pacquiao’s foundation staff that brought Beacon to the fighter’s attention, after they “dropped Zoom” because Beacon was so much better.
“Last year, we got an offer pre-revenue for Beacon of $80 million,” Munoz says. “Anyone probably would have taken that, but knowing what we know and where things were going, it didn’t seem like the right thing to do. We want a few more zeroes on that.”
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