Designed to meet translation needs of millions of outbound Chinese tourists
Sogou also introduces new Sogou Smart Translation Recorder and software
BEIJING, Jan. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Sogou Inc. (NYSE: SOGO) ("Sogou" or "the Company"), an innovator in search and a leader in China's internet industry, today announced the launch of an AI-powered, portable translation device, dubbed the Sogou Travel Translator, as well as the Sogou Smart Translation Recorder and translation software. The Sogou Travel Translator will be available for pre-ordering on March 12 and will start shipping to customers from March 19.
The Sogou Travel Translator is designed to cater to the translation needs of China's rapidly growing outbound tourism market. The language barrier is one of the main obstacles for Chinese outbound tourists, with challenges arising when they are planning trips, reading menus and street signs, and communicating with residents of foreign countries. According to the China Tourism Academy's Outbound Tourism Development 2016 and 2017 Annual Reports, more than 122 million Chinese tourists traveled to international destinations in 2016, a number that is expected to grow to 200 million by 2020.
Xiaochuan Wang, Chief Executive Officer of Sogou, said, "Millions of Chinese tourists face a language barrier when they travel abroad, and we are excited to offer a device that can solve this common problem. The Sogou Travel Translator is designed to accurately translate spoken words even if there is background noise. It can also translate text embedded in images, such as on menus and street signs, and functions both online and offline. A device such as ours is more convenient than a smart phone translation app that requires internet connectivity and uses expensive international data."
Mr. Wang added, "We are entering a new era where AI technology is unlocking a world of possibilities, and we are excited by the wide range of potential applications in the smart hardware space. We will continue to explore ways that we can leverage Sogou's expertise in AI, particularly in natural language processing, to develop other smart hardware solutions to everyday challenges."
Features offline translation and image recognition
The Sogou Travel Translator features a 3.1-inch high-resolution touch screen as well as a range of advanced functions designed to address typical tourist pain points. The Sogou Travel Translator translates dialogue from 17 languages, including Chinese, English, German, Arabic and Russian, into the target language in real-time, enabling users to read or listen to the translation. The offline translation mode also allows users to translate real-time dialogue between English and Chinese without being connected to the internet.
Sogou's experience and expertise in natural language processing and machine translation ensure that the Sogou Travel Translator achieves a high degree of accuracy in its translation. Sogou receives over 200 million voice requests per day, amounting to approximately 240,000 hours of data. By applying source localization and beamforming techniques to the output of microphone arrays, the Sogou Travel Translator can effectively suppress noise and interference to improve Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) in complicated far-field speech interactions. Leveraging voice data and microphone arrays, the Sogou Travel Translator has achieved a voice recognition accuracy rate of 97%, directly leading to more accurate translation results.
Drawing on Sogou's Optical Character Recognition technology, the Sogou Travel Translator accurately identifies and translates image-embedded texts in a range of scenarios so that the users can read street signs and menus. Moreover, a live exchange rate function automatically detects the currency in the relevant country and converts prices into the designated currency.
Sogou Smart Translation Recorder and Translation Software
Sogou also introduced the Sogou Smart Translation Recorder and upgraded translation software as part of a suite of translation products. The Sogou Smart Translation Recorder further supports the interpretation of both real-time and recorded conversations, allowing users to acquire information in classes, meetings, and other similar occasions, and simultaneously translates spoken content into the target languages.
Currently, only 10% of all information on the internet is available in the Chinese language. Sogou's search engine enables users to search and retrieve information in English using Chinese-language search terms, and thus broadens the scope of relevant information that users in China can access. Sogou recently upgraded this function by adding Chinese translations of frequently searched authoritative international medical content, such as from the Mayo Clinic and WebMD. In addition, the Company added translations of Japanese and Korean websites to meet the needs of Sogou's users.
The Sogou Input Method, which enables the real-time translation of text from Chinese to English, has similarly been upgraded to support translation from Chinese to Korean and Japanese. These translation tools all make it easier for Sogou users to communicate across borders.
Safe Harbor Statement
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Sogou's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current plans, estimates, and projections, and therefore you should not place undue reliance on them. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. We caution you that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Information regarding risks affecting Sogou's business and prospects is included in Sogou's Registration Statement on Form F-1 (Registration Number 333-220928) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 6, 2017.
Sogou Inc. (NYSE: SOGO) is an innovator in search and a leader in China's internet industry. With a mission to make it easy to communicate and get information, Sogou has grown to become the second largest search engine by mobile queries and the fourth largest internet company by MAU in China. Sogou has a wide range of innovative products and services, including the Sogou Input Method, which is the largest Chinese language input software for both mobile and PC. Sogou is also at the forefront of AI development and has made significant breakthroughs in voice and image technologies, machine translation, and Q&A, which have been successfully integrated into our products and services.
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