Jumat, 15 Agustus 2008

Your cell phone might become your personal translator if one of the new services from Internet telephone company JaJah catches on -- a free, real-time, machine translation service.

The JaJah Babel service, offered in conjunction with IBM, is initially intended to translate between Mandarin and English, just in time for the Summer Olympics. The first Olympic team to have the service is the small contingent from Ireland, home of JaJah CEO Trevor Healey.

The companies say they expect to offer other languages later this year, and eventually to charge for the service.


The service allows a user in China to call a local number from any phone, speak in English, and hear the words returned in Chinese Mandarin. Similarly, a Chinese speaker can have a statement translated into English. Babel also works with local access numbers in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Australia.

With this service, for instance, a user could order dinner in Chinese by speaking into the phone, then handing the phone to the waiter or putting it on speakerphone.

Offering, testing, and monetizing new, free services are a key part of JaJahs business model. "We offer customer alpha and beta products to help us determine how to monetize services," Healey told news media, adding that, once proven, the technologies move into partnerships with telephony companies.

In addition to the Babel translation service, JaJah has also announced it will offer another service, called Concierge, that utilizes a voice-enabled IP telephony platform from Mobivox. JaJah pointed out that hands-free voice commands to dial numbers, send text messages, or set up conference calls will keep users legal for laws requiring hands-free operation for phone calls while driving. Like Babel, Concierge can be accessed by calling a local number.


Healey said Concierge and the partnership with MobiVox puts the two companies "at the forefront of the development of voice 2.0 services." He added that MobiVox customers get enhanced voice quality, while JaJah customers get "a new service developed on MobiVoxs voice-application platform."

Montreal-based MobiVox provides VoIP services and applications, and both companies announced earlier this week that JaJah had been selected to provide call-termination and other back-end management functions to MobiVox. MobiVoxs offerings include voice-activated international dialing, mobile to peer calls, group communication, and voice-to-text SMS delivery from any phone.

Mountain View, Calif.-based JaJah, which calls itself "the worlds most innovative communications company," provides next-generation telephony services using an open telecommunications platform. Its major service is international calling for more than 10 million customers, and it has partnerships with Yahoo, Microsoft, Intel, Deutsche Telekom, Harmony, Plaxo, Jangl, IBM Lotus, and others.


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