What Others are Saying

 "With this, and a passport, you're on your way."

— HGTV's Review of Compadre: Interact

News Archive

Northfield Company Offers State-of-the-Art Translation Tool

Submitted by teej on Aug<br>&nbsp;04

by Arundhati Parmar Staff Writer, Finance and Commerce Magazine

A Google search of the phrase “instantaneous translation software” yields a plethora of free and paid services – all promising to fulfill every language need for companies conducting business in foreign countries.

Enter Northfield-based SpeechGear, which is betting that its Compadre suite of translation software will cut through the clutter and become a hit with both consumers and businesses.

SpeechGear Inc. started life in April 2001, when founder and CEO Robert Palmquist decided to create the company, which then offered English-Arabic translation. That timing was fortuitous for the company: 9/11 and the Iraq War persuaded the Office of Naval Research to use SpeechGear's software. And now, the company is ready to take the leap into consumer and commercial markets – SpeechGear recently signed a deal with the Home Shopping Group, in Boca Raton, Fla., to sell some of its translation products online and on television. Television spots in Los Angeles and Miami are set to air on channels such as MSNBC, most likely in early December.

Palmquist believes the opportunity is ripe – according to Global Insight, which did a study for AAA in May, 25.1 million Americans were expected to travel overseas this past summer. Europe and China are two major destinations for Americans. SpeechGear's software supports Spanish (both Latin American and European); French (European and French Canadian), Italian, Dutch, German, Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic and its Iraqi/Leventine), Korean and Mandarin Chinese.

Currently, the translation product is available for use on a PC as well as on a PDA. The PC product, called Interact, allows users to train their voice profiles through an external microphone. To translate, the user selects the translation language – say, Spanish – and then speaks slowly in English into the microphone. The user's voice is recognized and the text is displayed on the program interface. Once that happens, saying “translate” or clicking the “translate” button results in a translation, narrated in a previously selected default male or female Spanish-speaking voice. The translated text also appears in the Interact interface.

The uniqueness of a program analyzing a user's voice and speaking a translation in the desired language intrigued Fred Brown, partner at the Sightline group, a Los Altos, Calif-based consulting group that helped iRobot bring Roomba – the robot vacuum cleaner – to the market.
The Sightline Group launched “Fresh” at RetailVision, which is a trade show for the retail channel that hosts multiple events in North America, Europe and the Middle East annually. Typically, RetailVision draws buyers from companies such as Amazon, Circuit City, Wal-Mart and others.

At “Fresh,” retail buyers get their first look at innovative products yet to hit the marketplace. In August, the event featured SpeechGear.
“I felt that SpeechGear was a really cool technology; it was very broad for a startup because they have so many languages and because they have done so much work with the government that they are really far along for someone just entering the consumer marketplace,” Brown said in an interview.

At the “Fresh” event, winners are placed on a stage with Jumbotron screens and broadcast cameras, while Brown and his partner interview the winners, broadcasting a close-up of the product or a video that the company has created. Later, at the Fresh Café, each of the winners is allowed to have one-on-one meetings with buyers who are interested.

“The real test is that (Palmquist) had a lot of people come up in the Fresh Café and he had retailers sit in on the one-on-one meetings that are confidential and he always had someone sitting at his table for the remainder of the show after he was announced and I would say that he had a very good reception,” Brown recalled.

Palmquist said that companies showing interest include Circuit City, Amazon and PC Mall. The Interact product costs a hefty $995. (SpeechGear also has PDA product called Interpreter product that does not have the same capability as its Interact PC tool but may be more appropriate for tourists; that product is currently available on the SpeechGear website and costs $59.99 per language.) It also has a patent on its “Document” product that allows documents which have formatting, say a PowerPoint to be translated while retaining the original format.

Currently he is working hard on the packaging for the PC product – sold as a CD – that will be shipped to the consumer or business.

“In the military world, they don't care about packaging whereas in the consumer and retail world, they do,” Palmquist said.

In the military, the Interact PC product has been used in Iraq since November 2005. The military has invested about $15 million in SpeechGear to develop the product.

Joel Davis, who worked in the Office of Naval Research and now is retired, said that he played around with the English-to-Spanish translation and found it to be “amazing.” He forwarded the product for testing to researchers who tested the product, especially English to Arabic translation before introducing it to officers in Iraq.

The software might still have a few bugs, however. At the University of Minnesota, Professor Andrew Cohen, Program in Second Language Studies, and his graduate assistant Angela Pinilla-Herrera tested the PC product.

For instance, when the command was “What is the right way to write this sentence?” the program was able to recognize the difference between “right” and “write” and translate it accurately, but when Cohen said, “Could you give me a glass of water?” the translation misunderstood the word “glass” and used the Spanish term for “window.” Later, some commands were typed instead of being said aloud and the word “like” in “I like your shoes.” was translated into the Spanish word for “want or desire.” The program, which was running on a Panasonic tough book supplied by SpeechGear also froze several times during the test and needed to be rebooted.

Despite the very rough quality of translations, Cohen said he thought that it was unique that the program allowed a default voice to render the translation out aloud.

Palmquist said that the English to Arabic translation was considered accurate by the military – as part of feedback, B. Lloyd, Field Support, Technology Development in Baghdad, Iraq, wrote in a document that, “The English to Arabic was right on for most of us, with the exception of a Hawaiian soldier with a thick accent. The translator verified the translations as accurate.”

SpeechGear Compadre Suite Selected as Featured Product in RetailVision 2008 Event

Submitted by teej on Aug<br>&nbsp;04

August 26, 2008, Northfield, MN – SpeechGear, Inc., the leading provider of a complete suite of instant language translation products, announced today that they have accepted an invitation from the Sightline Group and the Everything Channel to demonstrate their Compadre™ product suite in the FRESH Café Pavilion in the RetailVision 2008 Conference. Over the course of a three-month search, submission, nomination and selection process, more than 1,000 firms were considered for particpation. A complete list of the invited companies and products featured at the FRESH showcase event are available at www.freshnewtechnology.com.
“Giving retailers a first look at new technologies at FRESH is a forum for technology developers to showcase their unique devices prior to a formal product launch. It's the best stage for retailers to learn about these new technologies and products before deciding what they will carry,” said Fred Brown, partner, The Sightline Group. “These emerging companies exemplify what FRESH is all about - the ability to give new and existing ventures the opportunity to generate awareness and demand among key channel decision-makers.”

About Everything Channel
Everything Channel ( www.everythingchannel.com, www.channelweb.com ) is the global leader in technology sales and serves as the one-stop-shop for the sales channel that drives 75 percent of technology sales throughout the world. IT suppliers and solution providers turn to Everything Channel to manage and accelerate their business. Everything Channel provides the answer to strategy and branding, online marketing, research/market intelligence, lead generation, branded and custom events, education and workflow tools targeted to those who buy and sell through the channel. Everything Channel is a subsidiary of United Business Media ( http://www.unitedbusinessmedia.com/), a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

About United Business Media Plc
United Business Media Plc is a leading global business media company. We inform markets and bring the world's buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print and with the information they need to do business successfully. We focus on serving professional commercial communities, from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewelry traders, from farmers to pharmacists around the world. Our 5,000 staff in more than 30 countries is organized into specialist teams that serve these communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.

About The Sightline Group
The Sightline Group is a hands-on consulting group of experienced executives that offers sales and marketing strategy, execution assistance and product launch expertise across numerous consumer technology product categories. The firm works with clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. The firm has earned an unparalleled reputation for forging vital alliances. Using its strong relationships with key executives across all major channels — retailers, e-commerce vendors, catalogers, VARs, SIs and OEMs — The Sightline Group can quickly introduce clients and their products to the right people. Past clients include Logitech, iRobot, Acer, Qualcomm and Eye-Fi. For more information, visit www.sightlinegroup.com.

About SpeechGear's Compadre Product Suite
Over 400 languages are spoken throughout the world today. From commerce to travel to our neighborhoods, we live in a multi-lingual society. It's important to be able to communicate with one another, regardless of what language is being spoken. Unfortunately, it is difficult to learn a second language, and it's expensive to hire a trained interpreter. To solve this problem, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps hired SpeechGear to develop a system that instantly translates whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type. After seven years of development and military field trials throughout the world, the first four modules of the resulting award winning product suite, which is called Compadreâ„¢, is now ready for sales and distribution.

The Compadreâ„¢ software suite includes five bi-directional modules, each of which can be used independently or merged in any combination to form your desired instant language translation solution. Select one or a combination of the products to create your own instant translation solution.

Compadre:Interactâ„¢ removes the language barrier by instantly translating whatever you say and hear. No longer will you find yourself struggling to learn a second language, or resorting to using an expensive trained interpreter. Simply speak into the supplied microphone, and a translation is spoken by the computer in your chosen foreign language. It's just that easy.

Compadre:Interpreterâ„¢ is the next generation of PDA translators. With Interpreter's
PhraseBuilderâ„¢ features, you are no longer limited to using words or phrases that someone else has entered into the system. Speaker independent speech recognition, multiple voice synthesis options, bi-directional translation, a dictionary and phrase book with thousands of entries, plus many other features are combined to achieve new performance standards at an affordable price point for instant translation on your PDA.

Compadre:Document™ provides quick and accurate translations of Microsoft Office files such as PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Outlook email messages. If you want a quick overview of the document, or if you need a complete and accurate translation ready for distribution and presentation – Document is your solution. When it is time to give the presentation, use DocumentViewer to simultaneously show the original document along with your translated versions.

Compadre:Composerâ„¢ provides a common translation engine for the entire Compadre product line. This ensures that you have the same reliable translations for all of your applications while keeping your database maintenance costs to a minimum. With Composer, you can easily enter new terms and phrases to your translation database. Do it once, and you're ready to update all of your Compadre systems.

Compadre:Camera™ which is still in development, translates anything you see. Any text that you can scan or take a picture of – signs, menus, documents and more – is translated in seconds. Over 200 languages are supported including Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.

Information on SpeechGear, Inc.
Headquartered in Northfield, Minnesota, SpeechGear, Inc. is a privately held firm that is removing the language barrier by developing a complete line of products that instantly translate whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type.

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Interpreter Selected by Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine as a Finalist in their Best Software Awards Competition

Submitted by teej on Aug<br>&nbsp;05

August 22, 2008, Northfield, MN – SpeechGear, Inc., the leading provider of a complete suite of instant language translation products, announced today that their Interpreter product has been selected as a finalist in “Smartphone & Pocket PC” magazine's Eight Annual Best Software Award competition for Windows Mobile software. Over five thousand products were included in the evaluation, with Interpreter being selected as one of five finalists in the “Text and Reference -- Multilingual Dictionaries” category.

About the Selection Process
Nominations Manager, Werner Ruotsalainen, and the 2008 Board of Experts nominated the top software from Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine's exhaustive 5292 product Encyclopedia of Software and Accessories. The 94 Members of the 2008 Board of Experts, who vote in the awards, are prominent website editors and webmasters, Microsoft MVPs, support forum contributors, and Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine and blog contributing editors. Their qualifications can be found at the awards home page. All are volunteers and none who vote are employed by Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine. The Board of Experts cast votes to determine the winners during August. Winners will be announced in October at the Awards Home Page at www.smartphonemag.com/awards/. Complete details about the winners will be included in the 2009 Resource Guide, available in October, mailed free to Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine subscribers.

About SpeechGear, Inc.
Headquartered in Northfield, Minnesota, SpeechGear, Inc. is a privately held firm that is removing the language barrier by developing a complete line of products that instantly translate whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type. Visit www.speechgear.com for more information about SpeechGear and its line of instant translation products.

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SpeechGear's Interpreter Product Selected by Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine as a Finalist in their Best Software Awards Competition

Submitted by teej on Aug<br>&nbsp;04

August 22, 2008, Northfield, MN – SpeechGear, Inc., the leading provider of a complete suite of instant language translation products, announced today that their Interpreter product has been selected as a finalist in “Smartphone & Pocket PC” magazine's Eight Annual Best Software Award competition for Windows Mobile software. Over five thousand products were included in the evaluation, with Interpreter being selected as one of five finalists in the “Text and Reference -- Multilingual Dictionaries” category.

About the Selection Process

Nominations Manager, Werner Ruotsalainen, and the 2008 Board of Experts nominated the top software from Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine's exhaustive 5292 product Encyclopedia of Software and Accessories. The 94 Members of the 2008 Board of Experts, who vote in the awards, are prominent website editors and webmasters, Microsoft MVPs, support forum contributors, and Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine and blog contributing editors. Their qualifications can be found at the awards home page. All are volunteers and none who vote are employed by Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine. The Board of Experts cast votes to determine the winners during August. Winners will be announced in October at the Awards Home Page at www.smartphonemag.com/awards/. Complete details about the winners will be included in the 2009 Resource Guide, available in October, mailed free to Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine subscribers.

About SpeechGear, Inc.

Headquartered in Northfield, Minnesota, SpeechGear, Inc. is a privately held firm that is removing the language barrier by developing a complete line of products that instantly translate whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type. Visit www.speechgear.com for more information about SpeechGear and its line of instant translation products.

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SpeechGear Releases Document Translation Software for Mandarin Chinese

Submitted by teej on Aug<br>&nbsp;04

August 7, 2008, Northfield, MN – SpeechGear, Inc., the leading provider of a complete suite of products for removing the language barrier, announced today the release of Compadre:Document™ for Mandarin Chinese paired with U.S. English. This is one of five modules that are included in SpeechGear's integrated Compadre suite, which is designed to remove the language barrier by instantly translating whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type. The focus of Document is instant translation of what you type.

Document resides directly within Microsoft Office applications. One of the key patented features (U.S. Patent Number 7,359,849) is that the translations produced by Compadre:Documentâ„¢ automatically retain the text and graphic formatting of the original file, so there's no need to cut and paste text into the application as is the case with other translation products. Other patented and patent pending features include segmentation tools for parsing your translation, tools for automatically defining and expanding acronyms that appear within a line of text, and an integrated interface with SpeechGear's Compadre:Composerâ„¢ module. As an added feature for PowerPoint files, the included DocumentViewerâ„¢ tool simultaneously displays the original file along with up to three translated versions. With DocumentViewer you no longer need multiple LCD projectors or to worry about keeping translated versions synchronized throughout the presentation.

More information about the Compadre product suite and Compadre:Document can be found at www.speechgear.com/document, or obtained by sending an email to info@speechgear.com.

About SpeechGear, Inc.

Headquartered in Northfield, Minnesota, SpeechGear, Inc. is a privately held firm that is removing the language barrier by developing a complete line of products that instantly translate whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type. Visit www.speechgear.com for more information about SpeechGear and its line of instant translation products.

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Instant Translation of Mandarin Chinese Conversations

Submitted by teej on Aug<br>&nbsp;04

August 6, 2008, Northfield, MN – SpeechGear, Inc., the leading provider of a complete suite of instant language translation products, announced today the release of Compadre:Interact™ for Mandarin Chinese paired with U.S. English. This is one of five modules that are included in SpeechGear's integrated Compadre suite, which is designed to remove the language barrier by instantly translating whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type. The focus of Interact is instant translation of what you say and hear. With Interact, you speak to the system, it repeats what you said in a different language and at the same time generates a complete transcript of the conversation. No human interpreter, no dictionaries, no memorizing of pre-recorded phrases; just real-time speech-to-speech translation of conversations.

This is the third of SpeechGear's planned announcements of products that support Mandarin Chinese. This release follows those of SpeechGear's PDA product, which is called Interpreter. Additional announcements of more Mandarin products will be made in the near future.

Additional information on this product can be obtained by sending an email to info@speechgear.com or by calling SpeechGear at 888-664-9123.

About SpeechGear, Inc.

Headquartered in Northfield, Minnesota, SpeechGear, Inc. is a privately held firm that is removing the language barrier by developing a complete line of products that instantly translate whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type. Visit www.speechgear.com for more information about SpeechGear and its line of instant translation products.

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SpeechGear Releases Localized Version of Interpreter for Distribution in China

Submitted by teej on Aug<br>&nbsp;04

August 5, 2008, Northfield, MN – SpeechGear, Inc. announced today that their award winning Interpreter™ software is now available in a localized version for individuals who speak Mandarin Chinese. This includes a complete Mandarin version of the User Guide. With this product, individuals who speak Mandarin Chinese can instantly communicate with other individuals even when they do not share a common language.

Interpreter is the next generation of translation products for PDAs. Instead of being constrained by fixed dictionaries or a rigid set of phrases, Interpreter uses SpeechGear's proprietary PhraseBuilderâ„¢ technology to allow users to easily form sentences and to generate instant translations into the desired foreign language.

“We are committed to our goal of providing a complete suite of instant translation products for the Chinese community,” said Robert Palmquist, SpeechGear's President and CEO. “This is the second of many products that we will be announcing that provide translation between Mandarin Chinese and a second language, including of course English.” Additional information about this product can be obtained by sending an email to info@speechgear.com.

About SpeechGear, Inc.

Headquartered in Northfield, Minnesota, SpeechGear, Inc. is a privately held firm that is removing the language barrier by developing a complete line of products that instantly translate whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type. Visit www.speechgear.com for more information about SpeechGear and its line of instant translation products.

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SpeechGear Releases Mandarin Chinese Version of its Award Winning Translation Software for PDAs

Submitted by teej on Aug<br>&nbsp;04

July 31, 2008, Northfield, MN – SpeechGear, Inc. announced today that their award winning Interpreter™ software now supports bi-directional translation between U.S. English and Mandarin Chinese.

Interpreter is the next generation of translation products for PDAs. Instead of being constrained by fixed dictionaries or a rigid set of phrases, Interpreter uses SpeechGear's proprietary PhraseBuilderâ„¢ technology to allow users to easily form sentences and to generate instant translations into the desired foreign language.

“We are focused on providing a complete suite of instant translation products for the Chinese community,” said Robert Palmquist, SpeechGear's President and CEO. “This is the first of many products that we will be announcing that provide bi-directional translation between English Mandarin Chinese.”

Additional information about this product can be obtained by sending an email to info@speechgear.com or visiting www.speechgear.com.

About SpeechGear, Inc.

Headquartered in Northfield, Minnesota, SpeechGear, Inc. is a privately held firm that is removing the language barrier by developing a complete line of products that instantly translate whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type. Visit www.speechgear.com for more information about SpeechGear and its line of instant translation products.

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SpeechGear's Interact Product Featured in the UK's Gadget Show

Submitted by teej on Aug<br>&nbsp;04

An English-French version of SpeechGear's Interact software is put to the test by the Gadget Show.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Click Here to see the You Tube video or go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hPUGib_Sy8

SpeechGear Granted Patent on Instant Language Translation

Submitted by teej on Aug<br>&nbsp;04

April 16, 2008, Northfield, MN – SpeechGear, Inc. announced today that the United States Patent Office has awarded the firm additional patent coverage for their instant language translation technologies. This patent, which is titled “Translation Techniques for Acronyms and Ambiguities,” includes nineteen claims that cover a wide range of features that are included in SpeechGear's products.

“SpeechGear is focused on removing the language barrier by instantly translating all forms of communications,” said Robert Palmquist, SpeechGear's President & CEO. “This patent provides additional coverage for the many features that differentiate SpeechGear's product line from other offerings.”

“One of the many features of SpeechGear's text and document translation systems that are included in this patent is that they automatically retain the formatting of the original document,” said Jeffrey Lenk, SpeechGear's Director of Software. “Additional features that are covered in the patent are the tools that we provide to users for adding their own vocabulary to their translation systems,” added Shane Fetters, SpeechGear's Manager of Software Product Development. “These tools are part of our Compadre:Composer™ Toolset, which provides a common translation engine for our entire Compadre™ product line.”

“SpeechGear has over a hundred patent applications filed in numerous countries throughout the world,” continued Robert Palmquist. “This patent, which is issued as U.S. Patent Number 7,359,849, is one of our many broad utility filings that cover SpeechGear's intellectual property for both our software and our mobile computers. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners on using this technology in developing instant translation solutions for our many customers.”

About SpeechGear, Inc.

SpeechGear, Inc. is removing the language barrier by instantly translating whatever you see, hear, say, read, write or type. These solutions combine voice, touch screen, keyboard and camera-based interfaces to provide convenient, effective and efficient use of these mobile platforms in a wide range of applications and environments. Visit www.speechgear.com or send an email to info@speechgear.com for more information about SpeechGear's products.

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