The Importance of Globalizing the Internet of Things

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The Importance of Globalizing the Internet of Things

The Importance of Globalizing the Internet of Things

[This article originally was published November 21, 2104 in TechZone360.]

What would you do if your smartwatch informed you that it was “timing for the dinner?” Or if your connected car took you to the intersection of Fourth and Connaught instead of the Marriott like you told it? Chances are you’d throw your smartwatch out the window or have someone look at the wiring of your connected car.

In the new age of the Internet of Things (IOT), we expect devices to understand us flawlessly. Any brand or business involved with the IOT must take pains to make content invisible and eliminate language barriers. Otherwise that smartwatch gets a one-star review or your brand image is associated with ignorance—the entire economy around your IOT efforts breaks down. That’s why today, translation and localization are more pervasive and important than ever.

The Babel Fish of Things?

If there’s a continuous theme around the X.8 releases coming out by players like Apple, Microsoft and Drupal, it’s language. Last week, the world found out that iOS 8 lets you set preferred languages that apps will default to. Skype Translator is slated for beta in Windows 8, meaning users will soon be able to hear real-time voice translations during their Skype calls. Improving the multilingual capability of Drupal was among the top four key initiatives for Drupal 8, set to be released shortly.

Why focus on translation when brands have things like mobile UIs and the Internet of Things (IOT) to worry about? In fact, that’s precisely why you should focus on translation. Online revenue predominantly comes from small screens. One survey of 14,000 global internet users found that mobile has a greater influence on purchasing decisions than TV or online content, and that mobile ads “drive purchase intent … for (generally) a majority of respondents.”

If a desktop-only website hinders sales, an English-only desktop site is exponentially worse. Of the $50 trillion in global consumer spending power, English speakers only represent one-third, according to Common Sense Advisory. It takes 48 languages to reach 98 percent of online users, yet 75 percent of Internet users only make important purchasing decisions when a product is described in a language they speak.

No wonder Fortune 500 companies with larger translation budgets were 1.5 times more likely than their peers to report increased revenue. It also explains why the really big global players have prioritized translation on a massive scale. PayPal is in more than 200 global markets. Microsoft products come in more than 90 languages and Apple in 40.

Language and the Internet of Things

If every technology designed in America worked only in English, companies like Apple and Google would be cutting themselves out of most of the global market. The Internet of Things, with its varying screen sizes, communication types and UIs, is only adding pressure.

The IoT is the final bridge between the online and offline worlds. In the future, there will be no such thing as “being online”—the objects around you will automatically stay online. Between smart homes, wearables, connected cars and near-field communication, the online experience will enhance everything from food selection to productivity.

Accurate Content Reigns Supreme

Brands must find a way to fit their content into this schema, and that means concise, accurate communication with end users. If inauthentic tweets today foster skepticism, imagine where an inauthentic-sounding smartwatch will end up. 

Confusing users with vague or inaccurate content isn’t an option unless you want your brand to drop out of the global race. The IOT is concealing content in tiny user interfaces and voice-driven instructions, essentially making it invisible. The language barrier, too, must become a non-issue otherwise economies driven by the IOT won’t work.

In the not-too-distant future, you’ll give voice commands to an army of personal and public devices, and they’ll understand regardless of language. Travelers will book smart homes that speak their language through AirBnB or VRBO. You might flag down a self-driving taxi in China that will understand English. An Apple iBeacon near-field communication device might push discounted game tickets to your smartwatch as you drive by your local stadium, and you’ll voice-command your connected car to book them, and it will confirm—all in Spanish, your chosen language. If any of the devices involved can’t understand more than one language, the entire system breaks down.

Global by Default

Like the planet itself, the Internet of Things must accommodate many languages and cultures. Remaining insular isn’t an option. Translation becomes less a matter of convenience and more an urgent necessity. As companies large and small are now realizing, embedded, automated online translation is at the core of the online future. 

Calvin Scharffs, Vice President of Marketing for Lingotek


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Language is social. It connects people and ideas. But what happens when it stops connecting, slows down, and goes offline? What happens when your global audience is left in the dark because your translations are stuck in someone’s inbox? 

With the Translation Network, Lingotek makes your content accessible to your customers globally. By connecting your company with our technology and translators, we connect your ideas with the world. Lingotek makes going global possible.

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Seamless Integration With Your Applications
Seamless integration with your enterprise applications and our translation management system lets you upload source content for translation, have it automatically translated, and download the translated content back into your original application.

Automated Workflows Put Your Translations on Autopilot
Put your translations on autopilot with customizable workflows that let you trigger actions throughout the project lifecycle. From notifying a reviewer when a translation is ready for review, to reporting project status to an external system, the Lingotek rules engine brings AI-like capabilities to your workflow.    

Continuous, Real-Time Collaboration for Round-the-Clock Translation
With a vast network of translators working in our powerful cloud-based translation management system, you get continuous, round the clock translation and real-time collaboration.

Centralized File Management Gives You Control Over Your Content
Out-of-the-box integrations with popular CMS, CRM, marketing automation, knowledge bases, and social business software means your information resides in your system, giving you visibility, access, security, and control of your files and information.

Scalable File Storage to Match Your Growth
Our cloud-based Translation Network offers scalability that auto-scales to increased volume levels, without no additional charge for more file storage. It  can scale as your usage grows. 
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Content stored in the Lingotek cloud is fully secured and kept private to your organization. Role-based authorization ensures that users only see information if they have been granted access by your project administrator.





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Lingotek offers a wide range of translation solutions to its customers. Whether you are in the enterprise or federal space, or want our world-class translation services team to take care of your localization for you, Lingotek offers corporate and global translation solutions that are custom tailored for your needs.













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Our Company

Lingotek | The Translation Network is a cloud-based translation services provider, offering translation management software and professional linguistic services. We are the leader in collaborative translation technology with an innovative cloud translation management system (TMS) that uses computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools to facilitate faster, more efficient, language translation. Lingotek was the first to introduce cloud-based TMS technology to the United States in 2006 with the launch of a fully online, web-based, computer-assisted translation (CAT) system that pioneered the integration of translation memories (TM) with main-frame powered machine translation (MT). Our multilingual application program interfaces (API) and connectors pair with the industry’s top enterprise applications to automate and integrate the translation process. They include:

  • Content Management Systems (CMS) 
  • Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM)
  • Marketing Automation
  • eCommerce Platforms
  • Knowledge Bases 
  • Product and Support Documentation 
  • Social Business Software
  • Desktop Files
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Customers can use their own language services providers (LSP) and linguists, or our global network of 5,000+ professional linguists. Lingotek is based in Lehi, Utah in the area known as Silicon Slopes. 

Our History

Lingotek was founded in 2006 and is funded by Signal Peak Ventures and In-Q-Tel

Signal Peak Ventures is a Salt Lake-based venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage technology investments in the Intermountain region. The firm was established as Signal Peak in 2011 after the spin out of Canopy Ventures venture capital team and the acquisition of portfolio investments in ten other companies. The Signal Peak team has extensive experience in sourcing, executing, managing, and divesting venture capital stakes across the Intermountain region. 

In-Q-Tel is a strategic, not-for-profit investment firm that works to identify, adapt, and deliver innovative technology solutions to support the mission of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Launched by the CIA in 1999 as a private, independent organization, In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and partner with companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve the national security interests of the United States. Working from an evolving strategic blueprint defining the Intelligence Community's critical technology needs, In-Q-Tel engages with entrepreneurs, growth companies, researchers, and investors to deliver technologies that provide superior capabilities for the CIA and the larger Intelligence Community. 

Our Clients & Partners

Lingotek  works with some of the largest, most innovative companies in the world, in a wide variety of industries and services including government, technology, finance, telecom, travel, and education. Our clients include departments in the U.S. Government and several large Fortune 500 companies. Here are some of the Customers that are trusting their translation processes with the Lingotek Translation Network.

We also work with a growing network of Partners--service providers, digital agencies, open sources technologies, and other strategically selected companies--to meet the unique translation requirements of our customers. 

Industry Recognition & Awards

Comparably Best Company Leadership 2018
Comparably Best Company Managers 2018
Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry - EContent 2017-2018
Comparably Best Company Leadership 2017
Comparably Best Company Culture 2017
Comparably Best Places to Work 2017
Comparable Best CEO - Rob Vandenberg 2017
Utah Business Book of Lists Top Telecom & Technology Software Developers 201
Utah Best in State Language Services 201
Silicon Review List of Inspiring 100 Companies 201
Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry - EContent 201
Top 30 Drupal Contributor 201
Top Translation Services Company 2016 - PFin
Hot in Lehi Award Top Trending Companies - Owle
Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry - EContent 201
Edison Award Finalist 201
CIO Microsoft 100 Solution Providers CIO Review 201
Edison Award Nominee 201
Gartner Cool Vendor of the Year 201
Oracle Gold Partner 201
Stevie Award Best New Product or Service of the Year SaaS Category 201
Most Innovative New Product Utah Valley Entrepreneur Forum 2006

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