Interprefy NowInterprefy has announced Interprefy Now, a new product that leverages its automatic translation platform to smaller ad hoc meetings. The Interprefy platform is used for larger conferences looking to provide automatic translation to the native languages of attendees.

Interprefy Now does that on a smaller scale using mobile phones. Users can download the Interprefy Application from both the Google and Apple app stores, though to initiate a call, they must have an account.

Oddmund Braaten, CEO at Interprefy
Oddmund Braaten, CEO at Interprefy

Oddmund Braaten, CEO at Interprefy, commented, “If you’ve ever needed to communicate with people who speak a different language than yours in a professional situation and don’t want to extend your meeting’s duration with consecutive interpretation or have equipment for simultaneous interpretation, then Interprefy Now is for you.

“We have powered Interprefy Now with our next-generation event translating tool – Interprefy AI – so that our customers get the best AI translation quality available in the market. Our AI language translation products make multi-lingual language access available to a wider range of organisations and events that might have smaller budgets.”

How Interprefy Now works

If the host creates a meeting, they can send a link or share a QR Code, enabling attendees to automatically download the application and join the meeting immediately. As the host talks the app listens and translates the audio. It then presents it to each attendee in their native language as text and audio.

Attendees can use headsets or speakers to listen to the speaker, understanding them with minimal delays. Richard Schiller, Senior Product Manager at Interprefy, explained that translation is not immediate. He explained, “It’s a few seconds. Somewhere between three and nine seconds is typical.

“The biggest determinant is the AI needs to hear you say a whole clause so it knows what you’re saying. It’s exactly the same as with human interpretation. You can’t start speaking until you know what’s being said. That is typically four and a half seconds for a sentence.”

Each meeting can have up to 30 people attending, and the solution is targeted at face-to-face meetings, especially in multinational companies. While English is a common language it allows attendees to better understand the nuances of what is said through the meeting.

The app is simple to use, and once the host has finished speaking, they can turn off their microphone and enable any attendee to lead the meeting. If the host’s session is dropped the meeting continues for a short time automatically, even if someone else is speaking. However, if the other speaker turns off their microphone or a certain time elapses, the meeting ends automatically if they have not reconnected.

Ending language barriers

The app is simple to use, and the host can decide how many languages the attendees will select from. This means they can set up the meeting using the languages they know are required for each meeting. It ensures the most efficient way of starting the meeting. Interprefy Now supports over 80 languages enabling more than 6,000 combinations of translation.

Interprefy does not provide audio translation if they are a native speaker. This works interactively so that if two speakers are Chinese, two are German and two are English. When one of the Chinese speakers talks, only the English and German speakers will hear a translation. The other Chinese speaker can focus on what the speaker is saying.

The host can also set up different rooms for each country they visit. Schiller cited an example where a business leader could travel to meetings in China and Thailand and have a room prepared for both.

There are many other use cases for Interprefy Now including international meetings, negotiations, training, sales pitches or guided tours. Interprefy is now designed for face-to-face meetings. However it will also work for remote staff as well if required. The main advantage is that all anyone needs is a Smartphone.

Could this be a consumer solution, too?

I asked Schiller whether this would work for individuals who want to converse in multiple languages as they travel.

He replied, “So, could it work for that? Yes. Is it a market we’re exploring? No. I’ll explain the why. There are solutions, which are single phone based so that you will say something into your phone, and then it will repeat it. So, it’s a non-simultaneous translation.

“Those are very cheap or free solutions, and they work with a single phone, which allows you to sort of thrust the phone towards the other person. And so we don’t expect to get anything of that market. But would it work? Of course.”

The system handles most colloquialisms, according to Schiller and most, if not all, scientific language. However, it does not handle made-up names such as product names or the names of people. However, hosts can create a glossary of terms for the system, which can overcome this issue.

Can Interprefy Now change business models?

I asked Schiller what he found most exciting about Interprefy now. He commented, “The really exciting thing is that I’ve dealt with leading-edge technology since I started my career. I’ve worked in broadcasting for much of my career. I’ve taken a lot of new things to market.

“What’s really obvious to me with this is that we talk to some customers, and they get it immediately for their application. There are other times when you go, “Oh, the reason that you’re not even thinking about this yet is because you believe it’s not possible.

“You know that there are companies who’ve not got international teams they should have because they just don’t think it would be possible to have such a team. What really excites me is I think there’s a minor revolution here of companies no longer just picking people on the basis of language, but actually picking them on the basis of skill before they put together a team.”

Cost and carbon cost

I asked Braaten about pricing for Interprefy Now. He replied, “We provide Interprefy Now as a subscription service, where users purchase a certain number of hours per month or buy a bundle of hours.”

There are also growing concerns about the carbon cost of AI. What is the carbon footprint for a session, and how is it calculated?

Braaten replied, “The phone’s consumption is low as this is an audio, not a video app. If the user’s venues use green-sourced energy, and phones are charged from the same or similar sources, then potentially the carbon footprint is near zero. Interprefy uses cloud processing with a low carbon footprint. Our infrastructure is powered by 100% renewable energy, and many of our 3rd party providers are carbon-neutral.

“The classical alternative to Interprefy Now would have been to have interpreters onsite, which would have a significantly larger carbon footprint.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

This is an impressive solution and one that could change how companies operate. For organisations working in countries with multiple languages, it might help lower some of the barriers between employees and customers.

Interprefy has created an accessible, cut-down version of their solution that is easy to use and quick to set up meetings with. Braaten added, “We are deeply focused on our customers’ needs and lifting the weight from their shoulders. For large multi-lingual events, we have our flagship mobile app.

“This is ideal for large, pre-planned events or conferences with a high number of attendees. With Interprefy Now, we are providing the capability for instant access to live translation for smaller, more personal meetings through the mobile app and subscription plans.”

Interprefy Now is a solution that many organisations should consider. Even where companies use English as the business language, there can be misunderstandings.  Interprefy even supports both American English and UK English. It will be interesting to hear case studies about the difference it has made.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here