Need a Conference Translation App? Why the Web Might be Better.

Oct 22, 2019 | Conference, Technology

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably concluded that your conference translation needs can best be met by software, not expensive hardware. What many don’t realize is that a conference translation app isn’t the only option. In fact, most conferences may find web-based translation to be more convenient and affordable.

Both approaches deliver simultaneous translation to attendees’ phones or other devices. However, apps must be installed before use, causing an annoying hassle for attendees. Some may forget their app store passwords, creating last-minute barriers to accessing translation. They may also need to update their app before it can work, creating delays. And attendees don’t like filling up their phone with apps they only use once.

Why the Web Might be Better

A web-based conference translation system offers the same benefits of a conference translation app with half the hassle. The set-up is far simpler: rather than downloading an app in advance, attendees simply follow a link or scan a QR code off a program or projector screen. This is equally accessible across all devices – phones, tablets, and laptops. Of course, there are some limitations: reliable internet access is necessary, and there may be some browser requirements  like using Chrome on Android or Safari on iOS. But in most cases, bypassing apps and going straight to the web will reduce stress for conference organizers and attendees alike.

Of course, whether web or app, software-based translation systems have clear advantages over hardware. Hardware complicates the already stressful logistics of running an event. Unlike software, clunky headsets must be transported to the venue and handed out to attendees by volunteers or staff. And in a busy conference, the last thing you need is for an expensive headset to end up missing or for a cheap one to break.

Web translation also creates a level of flexibility that hardware can’t match. With the web, you can hire an offsite interpreter. In fact, you could even livestream and translate your event to an audience from anywhere on the globe (no need to set up booths). Real-time analytics help you respond to user issues and gain insight for future needs and growth. Perhaps most importantly, software easily scales up to meet a growing audience—you can scale from 1 to 1000 with minimal lead time. With headsets you’re stuck with what you ordered.

How spf.io Can Help

If you’re considering web translation software for your conference, check out spf.io. Spf.io gives you a range of tools to meet your conference translation needs.

First, spf.io can livestream spoken translation from your interpreter to the audience members who need it. Since this uses the web and the attendees’ phones, there’s no need for expensive equipment, and your interpreter can be anywhere in the world.

If you don’t have an interpreter available for a language, spf.io also has you covered. Spf.io’s AI-assisted captioning feature produces captions in real time, which are automatically translated into any of over 60 languages. Attendees select the language of their choice and get the subtitles on their phones as they are generated. Trained operators can be requested through spf.io’s portal to increase the quality of captions and translation. You can also upload prepared materials like slides or a script and translate them in advance.

Spf.io isn’t just a conference translation system: it’s also an accessibility tool. Its captions make conferences more accessible to the Deaf or hard-of-hearing. And you can also use it to help with visual accessibility by providing slides on attendees’ devices, or by streaming audio description of the event.

With spf.io, you can achieve both your inclusivity and accessibility goals, meeting your audience’s unique needs with a convenient web-based solution.

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How can we help you? Contact us to request a quote or learn more about spf.io.

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