Vocre is a new translation app from myLanguage that allows foreigners to easily communicate with locals in a foreign land. It took the Best Mobile app and the Audience Choice award at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco this week.
“It’s like asking your friend down the street,’How would I say this in Spanish?” said Andrew Lauder, founder and CEO of myLanguage.
The app uses the iPhones accelerometer as a source of input. They simply hold the phone in one direction to record their voice, and then flip it in the other direction to make it talk in the translated language. According to Lauder, the company’s expertise lies in the translation technology, rather than the voice transcription or human speech technology.
The translation engine also gets trained to determine the most common way a native speaker would say a particular phrase based on user-contributed corrections and queries made by other users in their native languages.
The app has been criticized for its ease of use and pricing. Although, Lauder said the company hopes to resolve both the issues with an update that will make the app more intuitive to use, and also introduce a new pricing model.
The pricing will move away from a credit-based model towards a subscription-based model. The app will be free for use for the first 24 hours upon initial launch, after which it will require a weekly or monthly subscription. The user can also purchase additional translation credits in-app, in addition to the initial free credits.
Competitors for the app include Google Translate, Jibbigo (both of which have free versions of their apps) and SmartTrans, which also makes use of Nuances voice recognition software and costs $19.99.
The app, available on the Apple App Store, currently supports nine languages – three dialects of English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Chinese and Japanese. Support for ten more languages is planned.
Sources: gomonews.com, Reuters