Samsung recently issued a patent for a simultaneous interpretation system that call centres will be very happy with! Does the move point to the growing importance of language and translation within global business?
In an article on IPWatchdog, journalist Steve Brachmann informs us about Samsung’s latest technological tour de force.
The Seoul-based company has not been thriving lately in terms of business; in fact, Reuters recently stated that the company and its shareholders were discussing new strategies as Samsung’s stock prices had fallen by 13%. Brachman says this has not affected the company’s position on the electronic device market, however. Recently, Samsung announced the launch of a smartwatch device that is planned to be released this fall.
In the past, IPWatchdog has put the South Korean company under the microscope, and because of these new developments, Brachmann takes another look at the company and its recent actions. He has gathered a number of patents and patent applications that the company has issued and discusses the appliances that will probably be developed around these.
According to Brachmann, Samsung’s main focus lies on improved display devices.
However, there is one patent that interests the Culture Vulture greatly, and that is the one for a simultaneous interpretation system!
Usually, Brachmann says, remote translation services can be used for interpretation over the phone. This systems works as follows: a spoken message is sent to an interpretation service center by one of the speakers. This centre translates the message and sends it to the receiver in his or her language. Brachman believes such a remote service system is not ideal for call centres, etc.
Samsung seems to agree that this system is in dire need of improvement, as the United States Patent and Trademark Office has recently issued a patent to the company that protects a simultaneous translational services that operates within a single communications terminal. In this system, a communications terminal, that can be installed anywhere the user wishes to, receives the sender’s verbal message. This terminal then translates the message in another language. As Samsung’s terminal is portable, headset communications can be integrated into the interpretations system more easily.
Claim 1 of the patent is as follows:
“A simultaneous interpretation system, comprising: a plurality of headsets for inputting and outputting voice speech signals; and a portable terminal configured for receiving output from the first headset of an original language voice speech signal to be interpreted/translated, and for outputting to the second headset an interpreted language voice speech signal in a first translated language based on the original language voice speech signal, wherein the portable terminal is configured to operate a short range wireless communication to communicate with headsets of a respective speaker and a listener of the plurality of headsets in which the portable terminal translates between a plurality of pre-designated languages, and wirelessly communicates with an interpretation server for translation between languages other than the plurality of pre-designated languages.”
If Samsung’s patent is actually implemented in call centres, this greatly increases the number of countries in which these centres can be set up. This might lead to more call centres in low-wage countries, even in those in which not many people speak English. So who knows, maybe your next call to the Samsung helpdesk will be forwarded to Romania, Peru or even Cambodia!