Remember the self destruct messages Tom Cruise gets in the Mission Impossible series? It’s e-mail equivalent is here. Don’t worry, it won’t blow up your inbox. Ahmedabad based startup Mayavi Telecommunications has developed a email implementation of a self destruct message, quite different from the ones you come across online.
Fade.li lets you send emails that start ‘Fading’ or disappearing the moment the email is displayed completely. It works for both text and images and the way the image and text disappear happens in real time.
While the technology behind it is fairly simple, the idea behind the service was to be more like face-to-face conversations – without any records left behind. Something like what Snapchat does for mobile phones.
There is nothing in particular that a user needs to install to send a Fadeli, all they need to do is simply send an email by appending ‘.fade.li’ after the email address of the recipient e.g: firstname.lastname@example.org . The service does however offer a Gmail browser extension for Chrome and Firefox, which automatically appends the email addresses for you.
It also works for Yahoo Mail, Hotmail or any other email service. For now users won’t be able to time the fading, but in the future the company will allow users to choose when an email self destructs.
The receiver doesn’t have to install anything as the service works natively on most browsers. It also works on iOS / Android (currently there are some bugs).
The service currently is run on a freemium model and a person can only send 50 Fadelis in a day. Soon the company plans to add a premium version with extra features like
2 Factor Authentication (2FA): Send text and documents that can only be opened after doing a 2FA using the mobile phone. This is like Google’s 2 Step Verification, only that a) it works on a per email basis instead of the entire Gmail account, and b) the sender enforces 2FA upon the recipient, so it’s not a choice for the receiver.
Speed and Timing Controls: A feature to control how long the mail will stay and can be seen. Also the ability to control the speed of the text.
Reporting: Informs the user when the email has been seen by the recipient.
Extended sending limit: An option for users to send more than 50 Fadelis a day.
Currently the company is piloting an enterprise version of their product similar to Fadeli for secure banking communications which uses 2FA. With this, a person can only see the contents of email after doing phone verification (OTP or Missed Call). The emails are self-destructing and can be used to send text, images and attachments.
Take a look at how it works in this video.
The company came up with the name Fadeli because the earlier version of the product only worked for images and the image would actually fade away. But a few months after the company bought the domain ‘fade.li’, Chrome and other webkit browser changed their handling of our animated content and in the process the fading process stopped working. Even though the company is still trying to make the fading work, they decided to stick to their old name.
The startup is being funded and co-incubated by the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at IIM, Ahmedabad.