Like many great ideas, the concept of redtelly was born out of an ordinary moment: a roommate of mine moved out. It wasn’t a major event - people came and went from that house of students regularly - but this particular move made an impression because the roommate left a heartfelt note of thanks behind.
The fact that this handwritten note made such an impact made me realize how uncommon physical notes and communications have become in our digital world. Obviously, a text would have been just fine, but in a world consumed with all things digital, the thoughtful, handwritten card had a powerful effect on me.
Perhaps most importantly, it reminded me that there’s something that’s been lost in our digital world. There’s just something about receiving an actual letter or holding a physical photo that can’t be replaced by even the most advanced phones or coolest apps. It gives you an object to touch, share, save and hold on to.
But at the same time, there are, undeniably, some clear benefits to the type of messaging that comes with digital technology. After all, what can replace the feeling that comes from a good video where you see someone’s face, hear their voice, and get a personalized message? Videos are irreplaceable, especially over this past year when family and friends have been forced to distance and, as a result, deeply crave connection to loved ones.
And this, in a nutshell, was the tension that I saw and that led to redtelly - how could we create an old and new media experience that focused on the best of both? How could we create something physical for people to share and hold on to while also taking advantage of everything that video messaging offers?
It was from this key challenge that the idea of redtelly was finally developed. Here’s how it works:
That’s the basic idea of what redtelly does, but there are a few additional details about our services and our focus that we want to share. These are some of the things that make our team what it is and that we think results in the best experience for our customers.
Neither the video creator nor the card recipient needs to use an app or download anything in the redtelly process.
Having to download things can be complicated for users, it makes the process slow, and it puts additional work on the card recipient. It was important for us that the process was easy and natural for everyone. Whether it’s a sticker on a grandparent’s birthday gift or a note included in congratulations flowers for a niece’s dance recital, it should be simple and quick for any recipient to access the video. We’ve accomplished this key goal and are proud to offer a way to blend old and new media in a way that’s accessible to everyone with no apps, downloads, or technical skills required.
redtelly is aesthetically pleasing and conjures a sense of nostalgia and sentimentality.
We quickly found that using QR codes provided a perfect way to add a digital element to a physical object, but that still left us with a problem - the QR code felt industrial and impersonal. This was particularly troubling for me as a design student. While this graphical code stores so much information in a small square for the computer's eye, for us humans they’re a bunch of tiny black and white squares that mean nothing, and in a way they look like a static tv screen. And that was exactly how the idea of redtelly was born!
What we found was that we could create the QR code in a way that, from a distance, it looked just like a static tv, an image that immediately brings up vivid feelings of nostalgia for most people. While that was progress, on its own it just wasn’t enough. After trying a variety of things, we added the red frame and found the image was exactly what we wanted - something that is aesthetically appealing, elicits an emotional response, and seamlessly blends old and new media.
Our goal was to provide a new way for people to connect, share moments and make memories. We wanted to blend the old with the new and find a way to take advantage of the best of both worlds. We’re proud of our product and believe that it does just that!
We hope you’ll find that it offers a perfect way to add a new dimension to any physical object and that redtelly can become a part of some of your life’s sweetest moments. We are looking forward to exciting things ahead and hope you’ll join us on this journey.
Farzad Kargaran and the redtelly Team.