A mobile app claiming to be an environmentally friendly way for people to hold meetings without being face-to-face has landed its creators on the Anthill’s Smart 100 list.

The creators of Blrt (pronounced “blurt”) came up with the app out of frustration with the tools available to enable collaboration on projects among people who couldn’t meet face-to-face.

They thought tools such as email, phone, and file sharing systems were outdated and didn’t enable people to visually show others what they were talking about.

“We needed a tool that enabled us to see and hear what each other were thinking about any piece of work that had been produced,” Blrt marketing director Sabrina Antoniou said.

“It had to be quick and easy to use no matter your location and permanently record our exchanges.”

The app enables users to talk, point and draw over images, documents or even web pages, just as people do in face-to-face meetings. Words, gestures and instructions are recorded by the app and exchanged with others to form a permanent conversation in the cloud.

Ms Antoniou said the app had environmental benefits because it didn’t not require people to travel for meetings.

“Not that we’re anti meeting, [but] it would definitely be able to replace travel to see one another by a really rich audio-visual experience enabled by the app,” she said.

In a series of case studies, Ms Antoniou gave the following examples of how Blrt could save carbon emissions and money:

Domestic business trip – one person who travels from Sydney to Melbourne 12 times each year:

  • Productivity: Loss of a minimum of six hours from the day (two hours down, two hour meeting, two hours back)
  • Carbon: 2.87 metric tons
  • Money: $4,800 – air fares, $100 – taxi fares and out of pockets

International business trip – two people who travel from Sydney to San Francisco:

  • Productivity: Loss of a minimum of four days from the week, 65 head hours total flight time.
  • Carbon: 8.02 metric tons
  • Money: $3500 – air fares, $400 – taxi fares, $800 – per diem allowance, $1600 – accommodation, $800 – meals (total $7100)

Blrt is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. It is free to download and use, with premium features available at cost.