Mixhalo’s latest feature uses AI to beam real-time translation to phones at events

Live event audio streaming platform Mixhalo this week announced the launch of a new translation offering. The simply named Mixhalo Translate couples the startup’s ultra-low latency in-person streaming with AI-generated audio translations. It’s a pairing that makes plenty of sense in a conference setting.

“Interpretation at conferences and live events is done the same way today as it was in 1995,” CEO John Vars notes in a statement. As someone who attended several conferences in Asia not all that long ago, I can attest to the fact that contemporary rigs haven’t changed all that much over the past decade.

AI translation, on the other hand, has come quiet far in recent years. These days, you can regular see people communicating between languages by passing a smartphone back and forth. In fact, it’s commonplace to the point that we’re already taking it for granted, as though it isn’t genuinely world-changing technology.

Mixhalo, which launched at TechCrunch’s own Disrupt conference back in 2017, claims to have “crack[ed] the code on latency.” Live concerts were the initial application, and that unveil fittingly featured an all-star panel of Pharrell, founder and Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger, and future TechCrunch Minute host Anthony Ha.

The idea there was to ensure that everyone in the crowd has equal access to board-quality sound, regardless of whether they’re in the orchestra pit or the nosebleeds. The tech has also been used at MLB, NBA, NHL and Nascar events. In 2021, as venues were beginning to reopen amid the pandemic, Mixhalo introduced Mixhalo Over Cellular and Mixhalo Rodeo. The former operates on 5G, and the latter utilizes venue Wi-Fi.

Mixhalo has not disclosed its AI partner for Translate. This is one of those cases that requires first-hand experience to properly evaluate, but there’s a broad range of accuracy depending on the underlying technology. Overall, however, there’s room for improvement across the board.

Conference attendees can access the technology through an app on their own smartphone. At launch, Mixhalo Translate will manage interpretations and transcriptions in 50 different languages.

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