Kudo, a multilingual web-conferencing platform with human-powered simultaneous translation, released volume 2 of its cloud-based solution today. While Kudo's original solution, which launched last September, primarily was focused on multilingual streaming of presentations from large conferences, this latest version responds to the needs of the multinational corporate market. The Kudo team enhanced the collaborative functionality of the platform, which now supports meetings of any size with multiple locations around the globe, in multiple languages.
In Kudo 2.0, meeting presenters have their own video feeds and can share screens and documents using the Chrome browser on a desktop computer or via their smartphones with apps for iOS or Android. And each presenter can speak in his or her native tongue, with simultaneous translation services easily selectable by any participant or audience member via a drop-down menu.
The many other web-conferencing solutions on the market are "missing the layer of language," noted Fardad Zabetian, founder and CEO of Kudo, in a launch event today that was hosted on Kudo's latest platform. "When you're speaking another language, you say what you can," added Zabetian. "When you speak your own language, you say what you really mean."
The launch event featured presentations in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, with simultaneous translation available in all of those languages, as well as in Italian and Japanese.
Meeting participants can toggle between viewing a live video feed of the presenters and a presentation screen on which the speaker appears in a small box alongside the presentation deck. Live messaging and polling also are available; polling results are available instantly and can be viewed as a list, a pie chart or a bar graph.
"The opportunity that Kudo 2.0 brings to businesses is tremendous," said Zabetian. "Companies can not only save time, but also reach a truly global audience with the help of professional interpreters for a fraction of the cost." Kudo offers three levels of monthly subscription services, based on the number of hours required per month, the size of the meeting and the number of hosts; there is also a pay-per-event model.
Kudo's pedigree is solid when it comes to global, multilingual meetings: Zabetian played a significant role in the 2012 redesign and makeover of the United Nations' meeting facilities, and he has worked with the International Monetary Fund/World Bank annual meetings. Kudo vice president of communications Ewandro Magalhaes is an experienced linguist and language-services executive, and former chief interpreter in the UN.
The team brings a seasoned, communication-focused approach to online meetings, as exemplified in the platform's tech infrastructure. For example, Kudo 2.0 prioritizes clear audio; should bandwidth be reduced for any reason during a meeting, the video quality automatically decreases to compensate, so the audio stream doesn't drop out.
Kudo can accommodate any language, with up to 32 languages available per meeting.