Home Transclick: Mobile Translation For Borderless Business

Transclick: Mobile Translation For Borderless Business

Transclick is a mobile enterprise application that
translates text in email, SMS and IM. The software has been around for a while (see

this CNNMoney.com article
from March 2005), but is now starting to make waves as a
business productivity tool. RIM Blackberry just announced Transclick as the winner of its
Developer Productivity Tools Challenge
and they were a runner-up
in the Skype Developer Contest

Business Use Cases

For the Blackberry version of Transclick, the translation tool that can be applied to
any outgoing email or SMS message from the BlackBerry device and caters to 15 languages.

Transclick is obviously handy for translating emails and SMS on the fly. Possible use
cases are: you work for a multinational company and have frequent communication across
borders; or you are a member of a startup that outsources work to other countries (very
common in the web industry now). 

Market positioning

They claim to have 150 dictionaries in English to/from 16 languages – which CEO Robert Levin
told me “makes our translation of SMS, email and IM more accurate than text translated on
Babelfish, which is not integrated seamlessly with SMS, email and IM.” In terms of their
business model, Levin told me it is subscriptions ($3 to $15 per month per user) and
licensing ($150,000 to $500,000 for a server farm) – “including 32 language directions,
load balancing on a carrier grade system and access to 150 vertical market dictionaries
for higher accuracy.”

Customization and Web app integration

Transclick is also able to be customized so that it translates technical or business
terms. In fact they have patents around this
technology. Levin told me via email:

“We have a patent for adding customized dictionaries that are context-sensitive and
produce superior translation to free translation services online. There is a lot of
demand for this: free translation services already translate 300 million texts with 3
billion words per month and Transclick is uniquely positioned with a patent, seasoned
management and major partners (RIM, Skype, Qualcomm and several large carriers) to
execute on a for-profit business model. We are getting traction now with large wireless
carriers who want to share revenue with us as they globalize their collaboration

One example of Transclick integrating with a Web app is its use as a Skype add-on, as
described a few months ago on the eBay
Developers Program blog

“It’s an app that plugs into Skype Chat and provides real time translation between a
dozen different languages. There’s also a glossary function that lets you look up less
common technical terms–useful for getting into deep discussions about your eBay
category, or your specific area of technology. A Skype Voice plug-in is not available
yet, but the patents are in place, and it’s only a matter of time.”

Robert Levin told me they have had over 6,000 downloads from the Skype Extras Gallery
and they’re in the process of certifying their application to place it on the Skype
toolbar. As for other partnerships, apart from the obvious carriers business, they’re
negotiating with Sony to enter into a Strategic Alliance and they have deals with Yahoo
enterprise IM and Googletalk.

Voice-to-voice coming?

As noted in
a Forbes article
from a year ago, Transclick does not currently handle voice-to-voice
translation. However the problem is being worked on, as Robert Levin told Forbes last

“But Levin says the first systems, developed for “dirty travel survival,” like using
the cell phone to give cab drivers directions in Chinese, will be ready within two years.
Levin is currently working on voice-to-text translations that will allow tourists to
speak a question into their cell phones. Translated Chinese text will then appear on the
cell screen for another person to read. True speech-to-speech translation, albeit with
limited vocabulary, will be ready by the end of the decade.”


In summary, this is the kind of technology that I love to cover on Read/WriteWeb –
truly innovative and trying to solve a large real-world problem. Transclick also has a
cool developers program and a range of subscription products. It’s an
international company, with a team of 14 developers in Bulgaria at Transclick Labs and
sales teams across the world (their US sales team is based in Chicago).

Transclick is a company to watch out for and I’m interested in seeing how close they
get to doing voice-to-voice translations. That would be a huge breakthrough, for whoever
solves it first!

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.