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Amazon Is Adding Live Translation To Alexa…And Other Small Business Tech News

By December 20, 2020December 21st, 2020No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 —Amazon is adding Live Translation to Alexa’s toolbox of skills.

Amazon announced a new update this past week which will add to Alexa’s skills. According to the update, Alexa can now translate—in real-time—between Brazilian Portugese, Italian, Hindi, French, German, Spanish, and English. Rolled out in November, the Live Translation update allows users to simply ask Alexa to translate a language while providing a display of the translated transcript on Echo Show device screens as well. In addition to the new update, modifications were made so Alexa is able to more accurately identify natural pauses and sentence breaks in conversation. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Google’s had this for a while. Microsoft has also had these features in Skype/Teams. Now Amazon is offering translation on the go, just by speaking to an Alexa device. Voice technology will be an enormous game-changer for small businesses over the next few years, allowing employees to get tasks done and customers to request information just by speaking…and now speaking (and being understood) even if the request is not being made in English.

2 — Google will officially support running Chrome OS on old PCs.

This past week Google obtained Neverware, a company that has provided PC users with the ability to turn their machines into Chromebooks or Macs through their CloudReady software. With the acquisition, Google will begin to implement plans in order to make CloudReady available as a formal Chrome OS rollout. With the transition, users will be able to effortlessly update their software and will be provided with Google support for CloudReady, just like Chrome OS users get. According to the announcement, Google will recognize any current licenses that span over several years and there are also no plans to change prices. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

This is also a potential game changer for small businesses, particularly those on a budget. Think of it: you’ve got an old Windows or Apple machine and instead of tossing it you turn it into a Chromebook. By doing so you’ll be able to realize very similar functionalities for a much lower hardware investment.

3 —Twitter is shutting down its Periscope app.

Twitter shared that they will be shutting down the popular live streaming video platform Periscope. Starting in March, Twitter will discontinue the app and any new account signups will be prevented through the most recent update. Twitter disclosed that the Periscope app has long been in a state where the maintenance it takes to keep the app current has become unsustainable. With usage on the decline, the company recognized that it would cost more than it’s worth to support Periscope and that the cost would simply grow as time went on. (Source: Newser)

Why this is important for your business:

There was a day when people were expecting Periscope to enormously impact social media. But YouTube held its own, as did Facebook Live – and now Instagram and TikTok. But don’t worry Twitterers – you can still spew your venom using the Twitter Live feature included on the platform.

4 — Microsoft Teams is getting an Outlook integration that could be a serious time-saver.

Microsoft will be rolling out an update in the near future that will enable integration with Outlook. With the new development business users will be able to save a lot of time, especially when it comes to holding meetings internally. While the feature is in the developmental stage, Microsoft expects it to be ready and released for March of 2021. (Source: Tech Radar)

Why this is important for your business:

The integration will allow copies of conversations or emails—attachments included—to be shared directly into chats and channels within Teams or for new chats to be created based on certain emails. Users will be prompted with a pop-up window when using the web version of Outlook to confirm how they want information shared.

5—This is the first hologram machine that projects life-size in full color.

PORTL—a hologram device that is able to project holograms in full color and in their actual size—is being touted as the first of its kind. The new device has the capability to beam live and pre-recorded holograms in 4K. This opens up the possibilities of hosting live concerts all over the world, creating elaborate displays throughout theme parks, individuals delivering speeches or presentations, and the ability to have real people act as guides through art exhibits or museums. Currently PORTL devices—which cost $60,000 each— are popping up all over the globe in airports, museums, and malls. (Source: Intelligent Living)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s kind of like the next best thing to actual teleportation. You’re there, in amazing clarity and color, but you’re not really there. As costs come down and the technology improves then say goodbye to your conference room’s video calling system. Now you’ll have your remote people’s real-life holograms joining you, just as if they’re there.

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