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Apps: Azar

We all know how most of today’s messaging apps work. Hit up friends instantly, video call on-the-go, send multimedia content, these are just some of the functions we are able to enjoy in just a single platform. But can these apps translate languages in real time? The latter is what Azar brings to the table.

Azar is a WebRTC-based video communication app developed by Hyperconnect, a company founded by three Korean engineers in 2014. One of the pioneers of mobile WebRTC technology, users of the app can interact in real time no matter the distance, pretty much like other messaging apps. The concept of Azar is similar to a famous location-based social search service application. It specializes in social discovery; users get to meet people ‘round the world and connect with them all within the app.

In this app, the user is matched to another user based on their preferred region and gender through swiping. Users can also collect ‘thumbs ups’, which is a gesture of approval to be sent to matches. Matched individuals can then begin exchanging messages and pictures, or video call whenever they please. There are also quirky features added into Azar’s camera and video calling functions. Fun video filters and facial recognition stickers help make conversations extra entertaining and less awkward for new encounters.

What sets Azar apart from other video communication platforms is its focus on growing worldwide cultural understanding. This, however, is rather complicated because of language differences among its global user base. Given this, Azar rolled out the instant voice interpretation feature to go with its video call function. It helps users communicate with just about anyone regardless of their spoken language.

In cooperation with Google, the company has leveraged the aforementioned’s cloud machine learning technology in developing its instant voice interpretation feature. What it does is, as the parties talk freely, it recognizes the voice of the user and interprets it into the receiver’s language. Translated messages are then displayed in speech bubbles, on the screen, during the video communication virtually in real-time. It’s that easy, no need to switch between screens or copy and paste text.

Users can activate this feature by tapping the interpretation button that appears whenever a user video calls. It works as if you are actually conversing with them face-to-face in the same language.

Samuel Ahn, the CEO and co-founder of Hyperconnect, shared “Our vision is to grow worldwide cultural understanding by connecting people all over the world via video communication.” “We hope our technology contributes in breaking the barriers of a language and culturally divided world,” Ahn added.

Azar is available on Android and iOS in approximately 190 countries. It has a multi-million strong user base and currently supports 19 languages including English, Spanish, French, Thai, and Japanese. Since its launch in 2014, the app has already made over nine billion matches, with nearly 35 million matches per day, and half of
them are between people who speak
different languages.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE November 2016 issue

Words by Mia Barrientos