IBTM announces 2019 Tech Watch Award winner
IBTM yesterday announced Silicon Valley-based start-up wordly as the overall winner of its IBTM World Tech Watch Award, and Lineup Ninja as the People's Choice Award winner. The awards were presented on stage at IBTM World 2019, taking place this week at Fira Gran Via Barcelona from 19-21 November.
wordly was crowned the judge’s winner for its intelligent interpreting services, leveraging voice recognition and artificial intelligence (AI). With the ability to translate between 15 languages, wordly breaks language barriers, eliminating the need to create sound-proof spaces or hire translating equipment or personnel, therefore providing a much needed, cost-effective solution for the global meetings and events industry.
Using its app, attendees can access via Wi-Fi a translated version of a live speech in their chosen language, both in audio and text formats, using their mobile devices and headsets. The ability to support 2,000 users simultaneously and compatible with a variety of mobile devices, wordly is in the process of expanding this to 20,000 users by the end of 2019.
The Tech Watch People’s Choice Award, now in its second year, went to Lineup Ninja, a management software used to manage conference content. Lineup Ninja received the highest number of online votes from members of the MICE industry in the run up to the event for its tools to automate repetitive and error-prone tasks associated with event content management.
Corbin Ball, who chaired the judging committee, comments: “We are delighted to crown wordly as this year’s overall winner. One of the main goals of IBTM’s Tech Watch Award is to highlight emerging technology trends impacting the meetings and events industry. wordly is a perfect example of how voice recognition and AI can assist our industry in offering an innovative, broader and less expensive way to real-time interpretation services, for both online and live events.
“What sets wordly apart from services like Google Translate, which provide a one-to-one translation experience between the software and the user, is the instant translation from one speaker to many listeners, in multiple languages, simultaneously.”
Kirk Hendrickson, COO of wordly, comments on the win: "We are honored and humbled to win the prestigious IBTM World Tech Watch Award. The award is a validation that the industry needs a scalable, cost effective, on-demand solution to overcome language barriers. wordly language-on-demand intelligent interpreting is focused on leveraging cutting-edge AI to bring people together and include all participants in their preferred language."
Joe Atkinson, Director & Co-founder, Lineup Ninja, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have won the People’s Choice Award at IBTM World 2019. It is a real validation of the team’s work to address a key problem in event content management. It will help to raise our profile and demonstrate that our clients love what we're doing."
Among the finalists this year were technology companies with new products or services relevant to the meetings and events industry, including AllSeated, a space diagramming software using VR (virtual reality) technology; G-SMATT America, an LED technology wall displays provider; and Zenus, a facial recognition technology used to streamline check-in process, enhance security and retrieve data analytics.
David Thompson, Event Director, IBTM World, said: “As the global platform of meetings and events professionals for over 31 years, we’re in a great position to recognise, support and celebrate technological innovations and services that truly benefit businesses through our highly regarded Tech Watch Award. Congratulations to this year’s winners; we’re looking forward to seeing how their services will develop in the future.”
The panel of judges was formed of high-profile influencers in the events and technology industries, including Michelle Bruno, President of Bruno Group Signature Events; Dahlia El Gazzar, Founder of DAHLIA+ Inc; Ruud Janssen, Founder of TNOC.org and co-founder EMG; Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner at SoolNua; Martin Sirk, Owner of Sirk Serendipity; and James Morgan PhD CSEP, Principal Lecturer in Event Design and Technology at the University of Westminster.
Photo caption (from L to R): Kirk Hendrickson, COO, wordly; Lakshman Rathnam, Founder & CEO, wordly; David Thompson, Event Director, IBTM World; Corbin Ball, Chair of the judging committee; Joe Atkinson, Director & Co-founder, Lineup Ninja; Gordon Johnston, Director & Co-founder, Lineup Ninja