Calcalist Podcast

Calcalist Podcast


This was a piece from the “Tony Awards”, the prestigious theater awards ceremony. If until now a person with hearing impairment was sitting there in the audience He could not enjoy comfortable conditions. But now he can, and we saw that at a ceremony held in New York last June. Thanks to your product. We are delighted to host Yonat Berlin today, CEO of “Gala-Pro” Hi. Good Morning. Good Morning. So please share with us your technology … How does it work? So our start-up actually built a system and an application, which was designed to provide accessibility and translate shows, plays, opera or anything that is in fact Live for the public. We provide accessibility to people with hearing impairment. We provide accessibility to people with visual impairment. And we translate into other languages. All in real time, directly to the mobile device during the show So that any person can enter the show and enjoy it, as necessary. According to what he needs. And in fact how does this technology work? What, did you bring mobile phones into the theater hall on Broadway? You have changed the world order … So we did bring phones into the hall … At first it was something that no one understood what it was we wanted from them And how dare we even tell them that mobile phones are something that makes sense and is good for them. But in the end they realized the benefit and they also mostly realized that it was not disruptive. We actually spent the first year persuading people that it was not destroying the theater. It does not destroy the art It’s not going to disturb anyone. Of course we built and created the app in such a way that it would not disturb anyone. The technology works in such a way that we install a computer in the hall We prepare the contents in advance But the technology of Speech Recognition we developed, synchronizes everything in real time directly to the user’s mobile device. Meaning they come with their phone basically, come in, and what? Do they download your app? True, they’re downloading an app from the app store If they use a text service, for example, subtitles for people with hearing impairment So it’s on the phone’s screen. The screen is dark. It does not disturb anyone. If you use an audio, then you are wearing headphones from home The whole thing is that the theaters do not have to have special equipment or make special performances that are accessible But the moment a theater works with us, every show is accessible and all these services are there at every show. And what languages do you already work in? So because we prepare the content in advance, we are not limited to the amount of languages we can offer. Today we have about eight … ten main languages that we offer. Most Asian languages: Japanese, Korean, Chinese … There is very, very large tourism that arrives today in New York from Asia, and most of them do not speak English. We also have French, Spanish, Portuguese, And in the shows that feature Israeli stars in New York, which is “Chicago” and “The visit of the Band” So we also have Hebrew. So how does it go? I’m going to see the “Visit of the Band” and I wear my cellphone headphones Will I actually hear a simultaneous translation into Hebrew? Either that, or use subtitles … depending on which service is in each show But, yes … both options … Each theater actually chooses which options it wants to offer, So according to what they chose they want to offer these are the services you can choose from. And Broadway always gave importance to the arrival of a foreign audience, what did they do before Gala-Pro? What have they done so far? They have not really given importance to a foreign audience until now. They actually said: “Want to come? Come. We will be glad to host you”. But there was no specific dedicated tool so far for people to understand what was going on. They assumed that the fact you see a fun and cool show around And many times even something familiar and classic – that’s enough for you. If you see “Phantom of the Opera” then you know the story and you do not have to really understand what they say. In operas in general, in many parts of the world, there are still places that give you explanations and Ta Libreto on a page, and you sit with a flashlight. They expected you to read before, they expected you to have a general idea, and they said that to understand was not enough. But once the regulation of providing accessibility changed and in general the understanding that this field and this industry should move forward like other industries And offer the technology that exists in almost every other sector or industry, So they went in this direction both on accessibility and on translation. How much do you work on this subject already … I’m thinking about a show, I was recently at a Broadway show “My Fair Lady” We work there. Really? Yes. I am happy to hear that because my father, bless his heart, who does not hear so well, is going to see this show in two weeks, so what, he has an option to … So there is no Hebrew there, but there are English subtitles that he can use. OK And for people whose English is not their native language many times the subtitles help follow. So let’s take this show … what, you get all the texts in advance and actually go through the …. So we get the text in advance, we do … All the development of the text itself we are submitting to professionals. Our focus is on the technology itself, in real-time synchronization i.e. on the fact that we provide the person with the subtitles in real time. Because in subtitles you can not wait for him to finish saying and then it will appear. You do not have these three or four seconds to do the processing from scratch We must actually provide the subtitles while it is said For it to be an authentic experience, because in the end everyone wants to laugh together, to cry together…. To enjoy the show. Not jealous of your translators, because this show is also… they speak there in an ancient London dialect that the expert there tries to decipher … well done to you. Do not envy the translators, and do not envy those who proofread the translators, which are us… Well done. So let’s talk a little bit about the field you belong to, Assistive Technology. It’s known that it’s a really hot field, Google is investing a lot of resources in making its products accessible And online content for people with disabilities. For example, I read that every employee who gets hired by Google is trained in the field of providing accessibility. In Israel, too, public and private companies are committed to making their website accessible. Can you tell us a bit about this field? Yes, so Assistive Technology, is actually part of the Social Tech or Impact Investing world, in fact you can say, In fact, we are talking about providing accessibility or technologies designed for people with disabilities of every kind. Not just making a website accessible, which is one thing everyone should do, And usually also according to legislation, But in general there are a lot of technologies in the world that are targeted at people with disabilities. And what people do not understand is two very important things: One – almost every technology developed for a disabled person has a much wider use. For example, a lot of things that are intended for the people that use or sit in a wheelchair later help seniors. Take us, even, the simplest example, the subtitles for people with hearing disabilities, It’s subtitles that almost all of our users are neither hearing impaired nor with language disabilities, But simply people who want to follow what is happening. Almost everything that is produced for the world of assistive technology In the end, is used by a much wider community of people. Second, what is important to understand, Is that about one in every five or six people in the world is a person with some disability, and so When people provide service or provide a product that is inaccessible In all respects, not only the website, In fact, they miss a fifth of the target population, the target audience, And they lose a lot of money. And you have a community here in Israel, right? Right. Along with a few more entrepreneurs in the field we really opened almost a year ago A community of all the entrepreneurs who are involved in this field, We also have investors in the Eco-System community, as well as all the large bodies that deal with this in Israel, like “Beit Issie Shapira”, “Alin”, “Negishut Israel”, “BeKol”, there are many associations that promote this field And sorry if I forgot someone, And of course our ultimate goal is not only to unite them all, but also to share information and mainly to help start-ups Turn this issue into an investmentable subject. To reach investors in the field and that investors will also understand that this is an area they are worth investing in, Even though it does not seem to them a big enough market. Where is this field going? In short … in one sentence … That’s it, you challenged me …. I … This field is developing both in Israel and in the world in general And the issue of Impact Investing becomes something that gets much bigger. And so … In conclusion, what’s your next step? We start in London in October. We hope to come to Israel in the coming year. And in general we are moving forward and spreading around the world. OK. Thank you very much and last thing – you deserve congratulations for receiving the prestigious award from the Mayor of New York, I heard. True true. It was very exciting. Thank you. Well done.

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