The 2016 conference of the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) offered a wide range of educational sessions for participants to choose from, including "Test Driving Remote Interpreting Platforms," a master class demonstrating the newest remote interpreting technology platforms available today.
The session was led by Barry Slaughter Olson, associate professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, founder and co-president of InterpretAmerica, and general manager of multilingual operations at ZipDX. Speakers included David Frankel, founder and CEO of ZipDX; Alex Leshchinskiy, CEO of Cloud Interpreter; and Sergio Llorian, founder and CEO of VoiceBoxer.
Before giving the floor to the presenters, Olson introduced the three different platforms being demonstrated: 1) video remote interpreting for consecutive interpreting, 2) remote simultaneous interpretation for traditional conference calls, and 3) remote simultaneous interpretation for multilingual webinars.
The first presenter was Alex Leshchinskiy, CEO of Cloud Interpreter, a remote interpreting platform designed to connect people to a live interpreter 24-7 from devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Cloud Interpreter also offers a "white-label" version of its software for use with a language service provider's own interpreters.
Leshchinskiy explained that this easily accessible form of video interpreting is ideal for situations such as medical appointments (including emergencies), conferences and travel. He also pointed out that Cloud Interpreter's video component makes it especially well-suited for sign language interpreting for those with hearing disabilities.
Using videos of Cloud Interpreter in action, Leshchinskiy gave the audience an excellent introduction to this platform. Cloud Interpreter is available through the iOS App Store and Google Play.
Next up was David Frankel, founder and CEO of ZipDX Multilingual, a secure audio-conferencing platform offering remote simultaneous interpreting for traditional conference calls. ZipDX, which can support up to 8 separate languages per conference call, has been used for everything from diplomacy and decision-making, to sales and marketing, to corporate communications and more.
Frankel proceeded to give a live demonstration of ZipDX using a participant from the audience and a remote interpreter. He explained that with ZipDX, interpreters are connected over the internet, while participants can simply use regular telephones. Through the use of multiple channels for the conference call, the interpreter can control where her voice is directed.
ZipDX's technology is ideal for a number of situations, including recurring group meetings, interviews, training, informational and sales webinars, and in conjunction with other video-casting tools. Frankel emphasized that this technology is not intended to replace in-person meetings, but rather to augment and complement them.
The ZipDX website has an overview of the multilingual virtual meeting capability. While ZipDX does not itself hire interpreters, it does partner with Language Service Companies. The website has technical and pricing details for LSC’s and interpreters, as well as end-user organizations. Inquires can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The session's final presenter was Sergio Llorian, founder and CEO of VoiceBoxer, a multilingual web platform designed for web conferencing, live events, presentations and webinars. VoiceBoxer can accommodate up to 2,500 participants at one time, in any language, supporting both live and remote audiences. Llorian noted that VoiceBoxer offers a moderated conversation, which assists with the interpretation as there is only one active speaker at a time.
Llorian said that while it can be used monolingually, VoiceBoxer was truly built for simultaneous interpretation, with every point of engagement occurring in each participant's primary language: the participants speak, listen, and even engage in chats in their own language. In addition, if translated slides have been provided by the presenter, those too will appear in each participant's language.
Llorian concluded his presentation with an engaging demonstration of the VoiceBoxer interface as seen from the perspective of the speaker as well as that of the interpreter. He added that there is no software required, as VoiceBoxer is fully browser-based. The VoiceBoxer app is available for both iOS and Android devices.