‘Say Namaste’ is a video-conferencing app that has been quite popular among WhatsApp groups and Twitter Circles recently. This service is tagged as the Indian government’s official video conferencing app and was made for Indian users like the enterprises. Though this is not wholly true.
“I had posted about publishing a pre-beta version of our own video conferencing app on my personal Facebook account. Overnight, it went viral — we were expecting a few hundred users to test our service, with most being friends and family. Instead, we are now crossing over 500,000 users within just a few days, and our service is still in beta,” says Anuj Garg, co-founder and CEO of Inscripts, the company that built Say Namaste.
As the government of India and companies like Google have banned people from using Zoom people are looking for software which can replace Zoom. So, the Indian government has launched an Innovative challenge for startups to come forward and build the country’s own video-conferencing app. It has said that it will reward if they come up with a good solution.
There are some rumors that say that ‘Say Namaste’ is Indian governments officially launched video-conferencing platform. Since then many people have started using it and appreciating it.
So, what is ‘Say Namaste’?
It is not a government app. It is an online tool and not an app that’s available on Google Play Store or Apple App store. But Say Namaste has planned and confirmed its launch as an official application on iOS. But there aren’t any claims regarding Android availability yet.
“It’s a positive thing, and we are happy that so many people are actually talking about us right now. We would, of course, be happy to work more closely with the government, but all of that is in the future,” says Garg.
Mr. Garg confirms that he will be taking part in the innovation challenge hosted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), which would award the eventual winning startup a sum of Rs 1 crore to offer its services for official government purposes.
Working on security
“In the coming days, we are hosting our first independent security audit in order to identify existing security flaws in our software. However, it’s important to note that our software is still in beta, so there will be a few persistent issues right now, all of which will be fixed upon an official launch,” says Garg.
“We are exploring how end-to-end encryption works best with our service without affecting performance, and trying different techniques for this.” he adds this.
As of now, Garg states that Say Namaste is using a combination of proprietary and open source technologies. “These include a number of proprietary encryption standards that we already offer to our larger customers in the banking and medical industries (through CometChat). We are still looking at multiple options in terms of the kind of encryption standard that the service will deploy. These include exploring how end-to-end encryption works best with our service without affecting performance. We are using different techniques for this, such as encrypting data packets in transit, cryptographic keys and so on,” adds Garg.
However, he says that encryption alone is not the sole answer to privacy and data security. “Beyond choosing the best possible encryption standard, access point control is something that we are exploring. We are also close to adding two-factor authentication to the app in the next few days, which would help verify participants of a video call. We can also enable directory indexing of email addresses by organisations, which can then restrict video call sessions to only a list of pre-selected email addresses, to keep intruders out of the call,” says Garg.
Taking over Zoom?
Privacy and data security is one of the main reasons why Zoom was banned. Say Namaste’s encryption might be an advantage over Zoom as it is integrating its security and privacy features from the onset.
“One of my primary testing audiences for Say Namaste was my mother, and that is the level of simplicity that I plan to establish through the app. Apart from video conferencing, the service will only come with screen sharing and file sharing. The latter is hidden right now, but will be offered through the text chat interface. But I want to ensure that the interface remains super easy and intuitive to use, which is what many users by the bulk need right now,” said Garg.
Garg believes that his simple approach to the problem doesn’t allow him to compare Zoom since it is valued at billions of dollars. While Say Namaste is available only in the web app which is still in its beta form. Mr.Garg has submitted its mobile apps for Android and iOS for review by Google and Apple to their respective app stores. We can expect a stable launch in the coming few weeks and Say Namaste might go live on the smartphones.
How to use Say Namaste on PC or Phone?
- Head to http://www.saynamaste.in on your browser and you will see two options: create new meeting and join existing meeting.
- With the create new meeting option you will be able to create a meeting ID and send it to people have to have the meeting with.
- To join a meeting, you will be required to enter your name, the meeting ID and the meeting code sent by the host of the meeting in the space given.
And that’s it, you can share the meeting details with the people you want to conduct the meeting and carry on.