Boothless Simultaneous Interpretation
Curious about how it's done? Wondering why it's even possible? Keep reading and prepare to be amazed.
Traditionally, the physical booth serves a dual purpose, i.e. to provide soundproofing,
1) to prevent the interpreter's voice from disturbing the audience, and
2) to prevent loudspeaker sounds from being picked up by the interpreter's microphones.
It's amazing how quickly it becomes apparent that it's not needed once you examine it closely.
On Point 1, when loudspeakers are used in the room, interpreters sitting at the far end or corner can lower their voices to better hear themselves and prevent vocal fatigue. Additionally, the loud speakers in the room muffle any other voices, making the interpreters' voices inaudible to the audience.
On Point 2, modern technology allows for high-quality portable wireless microphones with digital noise cancellation technology, capable of delivering ISO sound quality with minimal ambient noise.
In extreme cases, AI-driven background voice cancellation software, such as Krisp.ai, can help interpreters remove any background noise or voices from their audio input, ensuring clear and uninterrupted interpretation for the audience.
When using a mobile GT Booth, the built-in microphone's powerfulness in the iPhone can be demonstrated to its full extent, resulting in loud and clear interpretation in the audience's ears.
Note that this level of sound quality is not achievable using traditional SI consoles because their microphones are not designed for noise reduction(lacking AI chips), and software cannot be used to remove background noise from the interpreter's microphone.
So, what exactly is needed to make use of this boothless solution?
A high-quality live audio feed. That’s all.
Here are two ways to ensure this, both of which can be done with ease.
1) Portable microphones, as shared in this post, can be used to generate live feed to interpreters (either remote or onsite).
2) When interpreters are on-site, a high-quality live audio feed can be obtained from the mixers, which is already available through the audio/video team.
3) If the interpreters are in another room within the same venue, equivalent to a remote setup but with the added assurance of being within reach, a high-quality live audio/video feed can be transmitted from the audio/visual team directly to the interpreters through a simple Zoom/Teams/Webex/Google Meet meeting (whichever platform preferred by the client).
Full Relay Capability
Of course, in meetings where multiple languages are present, each language team can position themselves in separate corners of the room to avoid disturbing each other.
However, boothless simultaneous interpreting is generally best suited for meetings with 1-3 language teams present, as it offers full relay capability.
1. Cost effective, obviously…
2. Whether interpreters are located nearby or remotely, it has no impact on the budget or the quality of communication.
3. Aesthetic enhancement: many clients prefer a conference room free from visible interpreting booths or boxes.
4. Greatly reduced logistical challenges such as transportation, setup, and dismantling.
5. Say goodbye to the hassle and cost of distributing, collecting, and potentially losing receivers (high cost!).
6. No need of onsite manpower.
7. Reduces unnecessary battery and plastic usage, promoting environmental sustainability with a lower carbon footprint.
8. No need to set up multiple booths for breakout sessions with low usage.
9. highly flexible, making it ideal for ad-hoc breakout sessions or physical room changes.
On the Cusp of a New Era
In the next 3-5 years, I believe 80% of onsite conferences will make the switch to virtual booths, marking the gradual phasing out of traditional interpreting equipment.
I must admit, booths still have their uses for events with multiple languages (>3) and high budgets. However, traditional equipment is gradually being phased out in favour of soft consoles.
Excited to try out this revolutionary technology and make the "walking virtual booth" a key component of your client offerings? Don't hesitate to contact me for more information.