Lacu, The application For Travelers to Get Help From Interpreters.
Plenty of Japanese companies have launched their own services with their goals to better serve as travelers for foreigners coming to Japan. Although, one of the biggest roadblocks for said travelers will most likely be the languages barrier. As of recently, a there been a new service that popped up that is targeted to address these problems with the use of mobile phones.
A Tokyo-based company by the name of Demo recently revealed a video chat application dubbed Lacu, which helps travelers find a crowdsourced interpreter and help them communicate with locals who can’t speak a lick of their languages. The application is currently available for the iOS, but an Android version may be developed sometime soon, if everything turns out fine.
By utilizing the application, users can easily find a crowdsourced interpreter to help them out by communicating through the use of the video chat feature. Every interpreter can establish a price for their service ranging from a total of 20 en to 100 yen per minute, and volunteer interpreter can even do it for free if they wish too. 40% of the fee goes into the interpreters pocket, while the other 30% is collected by both the company and the App Store.
Demo has worked alongside before with web services such as usability analytics tool Ghostrec from Sweden and a content management system based in Serbia, bring them to Japanese and Asian markets. During the localization process, the company had brought over engineers to their office based in Tokyo, but the visitors had trouble communicated with the locals, especially during the weekends. Due to witnessing this experience, Demo began to develop their applications.
Demo has begun to acquire themselves interpreters prior to the applications launch and has already gained a total of 500 downloads and 300 signups from interpreters. The company’s president and CEO Yoshiyasu Tsunoda stated that they have already begun to accept over 100,000 users requesting interpretations.