Unified Inbox: Changing the Face of Communication
In a world where technology and expansion is constantly adding new modes of communication, especially within the realm of the Internet, solutions such as Unified Inbox are springing up to reduce the clutter and re-simplify what was once a straightforward process.
Unified Inbox, at its core, is a service that allows users to integrate all of their communications into a single app (designed for mobile and traditional desktop browsers alike). This includes email accounts, social media, instant messaging, SMS and so on. In addition, communications can be integrated with task lists and easily become collaborative with others.
Although the premise is impressive enough, the startup’s recently announced InboxRank sorting mechanism results in a much more intelligent and intuitive system. InboxRank is similar to Google Priority Inbox in that it prioritizes content based on algorithmic interpretations of significance and predictions of user behavior. The technology has been slow to evolve but is increasingly being included in email clients.
Google Priority Inbox, as a part of the Gmail service, is by definition limited to email, and this is where Unified takes the technology a step further by applying it to all incoming communication. Algorithms attempt, quite successfully considering how long the capability has existed, to prioritize messages that are most relevant to the user regardless of medium. The content is still easily filterable, showing the most important communication from each respective avenue.
InboxRank is the product of a long relationship between Unified Inbox and SAP Software, more specifically with their HANA platform. HANA, as described by the product website, “converges database and application platform capabilities in-memory to transform transactions, analytics, text analysis, predictive and spatial processing so businesses can operate in real-time.”
The app currently is only available for browsers and as an iPhone app, with support for more devices currently under development. However, even iPhone owners cannot necessarily use the app yet as there is a long waiting list before functionality is unlocked for each user, due to continued developments and improvements being made on the interface.