Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NTT DoCoMo introduces Free Real-Time Language Translation App - A Siri-esque Looper for Increased Business International Calling and Local Advertising Revenue



“We hope that with this application, our subscribers will be able to widen the range of their Communication”

NTT DoCoMo spokeswoman on the launch of Hanashite Honyaku Real-time Language Translation App, Monday October 22nd 2012AD

One of the most dreaded Calls for a TES (Technical Engagement Specialist) to receive while on the Production Floor of the SHARP Account is a Call in a Foreign Language. Often these Calls are long, running up our Handle Times and done via a Human Translator who “translates everything you say and keeps it confidential”. This type of Call makes you wish you had a UT (Universal Translator). You know, that fictional Gadget in Star Trek that can translate any alien language? Or at least it would be nice if you could speak French and Spanish!

Looks like the Japanese love their Star Trek as well and can’t be bothered to learn another language. Telecom Provider NTT DoCoMo has launched a Real-Time Language Translation application or App for Android Mobile devices i.e. Tablets and smartphones called Hanashite Honyaku that does real-time Voice Translations into various languages as reported in the article “Japan firm launches real-time telephone translation”, published October 22, 2012, PhysOrg

The Real-Time Language Translation, which is Free and can also work with Calls to Landlines and translates IM (Instant Messages) and SMS (Short Messaging Service) or Texts, does Real-Time Language Translation from Japanese into a Tower of Babel Set of Language, namely:

1.      English
2.      Chinese
3.      Korean

Other languages to be eventually included in its Gift of Tongues translating abilities include:

1.      French
2.      German
3.      Indonesian
4.      Italian
5.      Portuguese
6.      Spanish
7.      Thai

With the entire furor over Apple Siri that came with the previous Apple iPhone 4S, the promise of a Remote-Less Voice Controlled world as opined in my Geezam blog article entitled “Siri and Kinect: Heralds of a coming world Free of Remote Controls and the would-be competitors seeking to make us able to talk to smartphones, it seems odd that no one has hit upon trying to perfect FREE Real-Time Language Translation on a Mobile Telecom Networks, Star Trek Style!

Real-Time Language Translation Services exist, but they are either manned by multilingual people or expensive proprietary Software Systems reserved for the rare occasion where a Human Language Translator does not exist. Apparently, no-one wants to disrupt the confusion at the foot of the Tower of Babel that allows speakers of multiple Languages to make a living from offering their multilingual skills to translate conversations and documents.

But the march of Technology may soon render this advantage meaningless and reduce the ability to speak multiple Languages to a single Free App. This as smartphone Processors get faster and DSP (Digital Signal Processing) algorithms improve as evidenced by Apple’s Siri as noted in the my Geezam blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 4S Post Mortem – Siri Voice Assistant and iMessage Rock” and my blog article entitled Apple iPhone 4S is a hit and the Apple iPod may get an upgrade - Steve Jobs Opus Major”.

Throw in the availability of 3G and 4G LTE Wireless Broadband Internet Services becoming more widespread and the ever falling prices of Cloud Storage such as Digicel Cloud Storage solution as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Digicel’s Cloud Backup Services – A deep Analysis”, Database-Driven Free Real-Time Language Translation Apps will become more common on Smartphones and Tablets. Now it seems is the right time for such Services, as it may be truly the case that it getting cheaper to use Real-Time Language Translation Software instead of Humans to translate Conversations, Documents and Texts.

But this Service must have a cost. So how’s this Service being subsidized by Telecom Provider NTT DoCoMo to make it a Free Real-Time Language Translation App, you may ask? Increased Traffic as well as Advertising!

Using Advertising is the very same way Voicemail and SMS can be given a Second Lease on Life on the now clogged GSM Voice Networks of Telecom Provider LIME and Digicel via Advertising as explained in my blog article entitled LIME and Digicel Networks routing Callers to Voice Mail - Hit and Run Advertising while Test out Free Voice Calling”. This takes advantage of the natural Behavior of Humans to talk more whenever the situation is favourable to do so, increasing Traffic and thus allowing revenue to be made directly from the increased traffic as well as Advertising; effectively Behavioural Targeted Marketing. 

Reduced Calling Costs with the reward of increased revenues as in the case as Telecom Provider LIME has admitted in my blog article entitled “LIME reports Voice Traffic up 71% in Second Quarter of 2012AD - ACS-Xerox loses contract to TELUS International as LIME becomes Mavado Money Changer” is a sweetener to the customer and part of the reason why Free Services such as Real-Time Language Translation Services will always be profitable.

You don’t make money from the Service, but rather from the increased Traffic that the Free Service brings, in much the same way Amazon Makes money from more people buying from their Online Store via the Amazon Kindle Fire than from Tablet Sales as suggested in my blog article entitledFacebook acquires Karma and goes into Social Gifting - Six Degrees of Separation and The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and posited in “Amazon launches a pair of Kindle Fire 2 - ACS-Xerox Call Centers in Jamaica ramp up as Kindle Fire begin to Sparkle”.

This can be achieved by allowing Advertising Agencies to use VoiceMail, SMS and Ringback Tunes to advertise various products as described in my blog article entitled LIME and Digicel Networks routing Callers to Voice Mail - Hit and Run Advertising while Test out Free Voice Calling” and my Geezam blog article entitled “How to set up and manage your Digicel InTunes Account”.

To be straight honest, Telecom Provider NTT DoCoMo’s Real-Time Language Translation Service and the App that uses it is not true-real time translation. There will be some Processing Delay due to the small memory and lack of Multi-core Processors in most smartphones not to mention the inherent difficulty of translating the dialects of some speakers. But Telecom Provider NTT DoCoMo intentions are noble, if the quote at the top of my post rings true; fostering communications without barriers.

Plus, the above languages in the Free Real-Time Language Translation Service are spoken outside of Japan, indicating that Telecom Provider NTT DoCoMo may also be getting a windfall from an increase in International Calling, which Telecom Provider NTT DoCoMo prices at higher Calling Rates. So my theory on increased Traffic Rings is more plausible and also rings true as well. A considerable amount of business is still arranged and transacted via Voice Calls between Japan, South Korea, The People’s Republic of China and Americans and Europeans in Hong Kong.

Albeit we live in a world slowly getting smaller thanks to Facebook’s Six Degrees of Separation as noted in my blog article entitledFacebook acquires Karma and goes into Social Gifting - Six Degrees of Separation and The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. Increasingly in a World obsessed with Data Services, even here in Jamaica as noticed in my blog article entitled OUR Telecom Provider Stats indicate JA$14 billion profit for Second Quarter of 2012AD - Telecom Providers Stacking up all Faces on the Argo Video Calling and VoIP on smartphones”, Voice Services are still important for Business Communication.

Having a Free Real-Time Language Translation Service that makes it easier to “widen the range of their Communication” certainly fits the bill and indicates that Voice Services may still have some life left in them as Data Services gradually become the Next Big Thing on Telecom Providers Networks globally and Voice Service go the way of the Dodo.

Telecoms Facilities that still use Voice Services such as Call Centers which use VoIP (Voice over IP) and especially those on GSM and POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) Services can get a lease on life. This they can achieve by lowering the cost of Real-Time Voice Translation Technology via advertising either prior to or at the end of the conversation, in Text Messages, on the Customers smartphone or Tablet or even in their Voice Mail as described in my blog article entitled LIME and Digicel Networks routing Callers to Voice Mail - Hit and Run Advertising while Test out Free Voice Calling”.

Trust me, folks, for a Free Real-Time Voice Translation Service, many people, including Jamaicans will tolerate Advertising on their personal smartphone or Tablet if it means International Calling to someone that speaks a foreign language will be that much easier and quicker. Something Agents on the SHARP Account would welcome, as it would definately lower our handle times!

It’s really up to the Telecom Providers here in Jamaica to realize that a Looper (2012) of Potential Earnings in the Advertising world awaits to be tapped in the future by making a decision to make Voice Calling Free as suggested in my blog article entitled Digicel and Avaya Communications launch Avaya Aura for SME's - LIME and Digicel in a Step Up Revolution towards GSM Voice Extinction”.

Like Telecom Provider NTT DoCoMo, Jamaican Telecom Providers LIME and Digicel can also go the route of Advertising to their potential Customer base of almost 3 million Mobile phone users thus see increased International Calling Revenues via the introduction of a Free Real-Time Language Translation to increase Voice Traffic to Spanish and French speaking Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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