Zoom Launches Zapps, But Interpreting and Translation Still up for Grabs

Zoom Launches Zapps, But Interpreting and Translation Still up for Grabs

One of the few undisputed “winners” in the Covid economy has been Zoom, the virtual meeting tool whose use exploded as the coronavirus pandemic forced many workplaces worldwide to operate remotely. Now, more businesses may use Zoom as a springboard for their own growth as “Zapps” make their debut. (Zapps are apps available directly within the Zoom UI.)

In an October 15, 2020 Zoomtopia presentation, Zoom described its app marketplace as providing shortcuts for users’ “most valuable business processes.”

Advertised as offering the “best of breed” for each function, a number of big names — such as Slack, Salesforce, and Dropbox — have already partnered with Zoom to offer Zapps. Speech-to-text giant Rev will provide English transcription and captioning, plus subtitles in more than 15 languages.

As one Twitter user noted, there are still “so many categories up for grabs!” It remains to be seen which companies will snag the slots for interpreting and automated translation. Zoom already offers a feature for live interpreting, which allows users to designate specific meeting participants as interpreters.

Zoom’s existing language services are good enough that Powys County Council in Wales recently dropped Microsoft Teams in favor of Zoom due to issues with Welsh language translation. (In April 2020, another Zoom competitor, Google Meet, published research on simultaneous translation, potentially laying the groundwork for live translated captions for audio or video.)

Possible contenders for an interpreting Zapp include remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI) platform Interprefy, which the World Trade Organization has used regularly in conjunction with Zoom since the pandemic hit. Interprefy founder Kim Ludvigsen told Slator in a recent interview that they have been “delivering interpreting through Zoom for almost a year and, since Covid-19, the business has exploded.”

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Another contender, multilingual video conferencing system Kudo raised USD 6m in July 2020 — a sign of investors’ confidence in the platform’s staying power throughout the pandemic and beyond. Meanwhile, interpretation tech company Boostlingo launched its own Zoom integration in July 2020 Of course, there are numerous other potential candidates for the RSI Zapp and Zoom may surprise the market.

According to a guide on Medium, the software development kit is not yet available, but interested developers should submit a request for more information.