Israeli startup Zikk has developed an app to help tech savvy users help their non-tech savvy friends through the remote sync of their smartphones
If you’re the geek of your family, you’re surely familiar with playing the role of technical support for your parents, grandparents, siblings and friends who desperately turn to you for help sorting out the issues of their smartphone. Dad’s headset for the car doesn’t work (because he forgot to turn on the Bluetooth), Aunt Margaret cant connect to the internet (because she doesn’t realize she has to first set up her WiFi) and Grandma would love for her phone’s wallpaper home screen to be a picture the grandchildren, if only she had someone who could set that up for her.
Anyone can become a remote tech support rep
Enter Zikk, founded in 2013 by two friends from the IDF and alumni of the 8200 accelerator program, Ofir Lessel and Ariel Gottfeld. Lessel is a software engineer and graduate of the Technion and Gutfeld is a CPA who previously worked for Ernst Young. Lessel and Guttfeld have developed a solution in the form of a smartphone app that you install as a server and a client – one device being the one you want to perform the tech support on, and the other, your own device through which you can walk through the steps and help your friends and family with their phone issues.
“Like many others in our position, family and friends sought out our help to troubleshoot their smartphones. At first we tried to explain over the phone what to do and it didn’t really work. So we began to look for a remote support solution and when we found none that was satisfactory, we realized that there’s an unmet need,” explained Guttfeld. The solution was not long in following \with the beta version of the app being released in July. According to Google Play, download numbers range between 10,000-50,000 for the free Android app as of this writing. “We get great feedback from users regularly. Everyone has a smartphone and a significant portion of the population are not technologically oriented. They need help, and our product allows Power Users to support friends and family remotely.”
The application supports Android device version 2.2 (Froyo) or higher. “Companies like LogMeIn, Teamviewer and Soluto are known for remote management software of personal computers. For this reason, they specialize in the needs of technical support personnel and IT departments namely: products that are not easy to operate, are often expensive, and because remote phone management are not their exclusive focus, they don’t maintain user privacy as well as they should.
“Consumers on the other hand, require a simple solution, and Zikk provides users with an application for remote management from phone to phone that does not require any special technical skill on the part and completely protects the privacy of user having their phone troubleshot. Those connecting to the client phone to help out have no access to personal information such as photos, contacts, SMS messages or email.”
Currently, the app is free and Guttfeld says the plan is to keep it that way with income coming in the form of future affiliate deals and future application releases that will cost money.The company is also looking into how they can extend the application to other platforms. Meanwhile, go give Grandma a call and walk her through a quick install.