Jibbigo, the world’s first and leading speech-to-speech translation app, will release its English/Chinese version for the iPhone 3GS and 2nd generation iTouch on April 19.
Jibbigo, because it relies on software that resides completely on the device, enables transparent communication across cultures by voice without the need for data links to a large network server. Threats such as the potential shutdown of Google over censorship claims in China illustrate the flaws in dependence on a large network server for all communication. Jibbigo is bi-directional, and accepts English or Chinese speech and speaks out a translation in the other.
"Jibbigo runs on your iPhone without the need for a network server. You can converse with your Chinese partners without the worry, cost or dependency on data links or large network servers," said Dr. Alex Waibel, founder of Jibbigo.
Jibbigo is a product of Mobile Technologies, a start-up founded by Dr. Waibel, a Carnegie Mellon University professor. The English/Japanese version of Jibbigo quickly became the number-one grossing app in Japan and the most downloaded travel application at the iTunes Japan store when it launched in January. Jibbigo is also available in an English/Spanish version and the company is working on additional languages.
"One of our main goals in creating Jibbigo is to make it possible for people to communicate transparently, without barriers," said Dr. Waibel. "With this release of Jibbigo, English and Chinese speakers will be able to converse, in real time, in their own languages, simply by using an app. No Internet connection will be required." Jibbigo also offers a dictionary, features for correction, and new name entry.
At the heart of Jibbigo is bi-directional, natural speech-to-speech translation software that lets speakers of two languages converse in their own spoken languages. Jibbigo is not a dictionary or a phrase book, but a speech translator: One person speaks a sentence naturally in English or Chinese into Jibbigo, and Jibbigo speaks the sentence aloud in the other language, much like a personal human interpreter would. Jibbigo also shows the recognition and translation as text on the app screen. Chinese text is shown in Chinese and/or Roman characters. This allows Western users to play back the Chinese speech but also see how the Chinese characters are pronounced.