The What: Listen Technologies Corporation has announced a 2.0 firmware update for ListenTALK, its mobile communication system, adding support for simultaneous interpretation.
The What Else: ListenTALK lets users communicate in any environment, while following safe social distancing standards. The system features a small transceiver (combination transmitter/receiver) that users wear on a lanyard around their neck, accompanied by a venue-provided headset with microphone or users’ own headphones or earbuds with a built-in mic. Users press and hold a button on the transceiver to speak to just the leader or the group.
Related: How Assistive Listening Tech is Helping to Bridge Social Distance (opens in new tab)
The new functionality makes it easier for interpreters using ListenTALK to listen to audio in one language and speak the words in another language without having to carry additional equipment. The expanded functionality also enhances natural conversations by allowing three people to talk simultaneously.
With the firmware update, interpreters can use one ListenTALK unit to hear a presenter’s message in their headset and speak the translated words to their audience using one unit hands-free. Listeners in the interpreter’s group can hear in their preferred language translated from the original source. Listeners can also use the push-to-talk feature to ask the interpreter questions. Interpreters do not need to carry a separate receiver and transmitter or juggle two headsets or a microphone to hear audio from the presenter and listeners and to relay interpretations to listeners.
ListenTALK also enables relay, or two-deep interpretation, meaning an interpreter can listen to another interpreter translate the main presenter’s words and then translate the words for her own group. For instance, a presenter may speak Spanish and an interpreter who understands Spanish interprets for English speakers. One of the English speakers further interprets for German speakers.
“With ListenTALK, listeners who do not understand the language of the presenter are not excluded from understanding what is said and sharing in the experience,” said Sam Nord, vice president of global sales at Listen Technologies. “Whether interpreters provide whispered, consecutive, liaison, simultaneous, or relay interpretation, we’ve made it easy to use ListenTALK and facilitate communication between groups that do not speak the same language.”
The Bottom Line: ListenTALK helps overcome the challenges that distance, background noise, hearing loss, and face coverings pose to communications. Instances where ListenTALK could be used to support simultaneous interpretation include corporate events and meetings, VIP and customer tours at manufacturing plants, campus tours, cultural events and attractions, medical settings, and worship services.
The ListenTALK 2.0 firmware update will be available starting April 5, 2021.