My co-founder Greg & I founded Orion to help people do more together, in real-time, using the power of voice. We knew we were in the very beginning of a once-in-a-decade shift to voice as the new interface, driven by a rapid evolution of voice services and technologies. We believed this shift would require a new category of connected devices and services, just as the shift to mobile required touch-enabled smartphones. This is what we set out to build as the first step in our broader vision.
Last year we released the award-winning Orion Onyx, our “smart walkie talkie”, which connects to the Orion Platform. We started with a next-generation push-to-talk service for small groups and teams. As this has grown, we released Orion Pro, our powerful SaaS-based tool for larger organizations to securely communicate and manage their teams using Orion.
From Science Fiction to Production
Over the last 18 months, we’ve been hard at work developing a constellation of new services and integrations that build on our technology and take advantage of the giant leaps in voice services in the industry. As more customers use Orion we have heard a consistent request for advanced language translation for mobile teams speaking many languages. This has been a truly exciting challenge for us, as we are literally building products most frequently described in science fiction.
Today, along with our $18.25m funding announcement, I’m excited to announce the first public preview of Orion Translator, a new type of connected voice bot & service designed to help teams bridge language barriers.
You can see a video of Orion Translator below:
Launching today: Voice Control + Real-Time Translation Between English and Spanish
The Orion Translator preview is available for all Orion Onyx customers starting today and initially supports Spanish to English and English to Spanish. By default, the language is set to English and translates messages to Spanish. Switching from Spanish to English is easy: simply say “switch my language to Spanish,” and you’re set.
Getting Started with Orion Translate
Step 1. Open the Orion app on your phone
Step 2. Connect Onyx
Step 3. Find My Groups in your Menu
Step 4. You should see a new group, called “Translation Preview”; tap on it
Step 5. If you’re speaking English, push and hold Onyx while speaking
Step 6. Orion Translator will speak your message back in Spanish
Step 7. If you’re speaking Spanish, push and hold Onyx while saying “Switch to Spanish”
Step 8. Push and hold Onyx while speaking Spanish
Step 9. Translator will speak your message in English
We’ve started with two languages which work on a single Onyx while people try out the service. Very soon, we’ll release multi-party and multi-device translation along with many more languages.
Orion Translator marks two new firsts for Orion: a way to communicate in different languages, and an introduction to voice control.
Real-time translation is just one of the first new voice-driven abilities we are adding. We’re excited to get this into your hands and to continue improving and introducing new useful features that help you do more with the power of your voice.
We’re all really excited about helping people communicate across distances and languages, and we hope you will try it and share your thoughts, ideas, and feedback.
Founder & CEO
Orion Labs, Inc.
PS: You can also read our full press release about the funding and new product announcements here.