The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020 - 19

messaging in the chat (for event
participants) and polling. It has an interface
for both participants and interpreters.
Interface: The interpreter's interface in
Figure 7 shows two default incoming
and outgoing audio channels, although
more channels can be configured. On
the left, highlighted in blue, we have the
incoming audio channel from the floor
(English), and on the right, highlighted
in light green, the outgoing channel
(Spanish). The central panel between
them displays important information: the
current language being interpreted and
the event duration time and interpreter's
streaming time (a helpful function!).
Handover: Like all RSI platforms,
Interactio provides relay and handover
functions. There is a dedicated Handover
button on the right side. If the active
interpreter clicks it, the passive interpreter
will see the respective message on the
central panel. The active interpreter then
switches off their microphone and lets
the passive interpreter take over. Manual
handover is also possible. The passive
interpreter can switch on the microphone
by clicking the Mic button in the center at
the bottom (highlighted in green), which
causes the active interpreter's microphone
to switch off automatically. Interactio
representatives explained that this
function was programmed to enable the
passive interpreter to take over without
waiting for the active interpreter to switch
off their microphone during an emergency
(e.g., if the active interpreter is unwell and
cannot complete the handover properly).
Technical Support: Initially, it took
Interactio two days to answer my question
regarding platform training. They replied
that training is provided only after the
order for your language pair is placed and
you're appointed to the job. (How can I
recommend my client to use this platform
if I don't really know much about it?)
Interactio did call me later and offered to
do a training. As a result, I could better
describe the platform functionality here.
They did explain that they were a bit
behind in their communication due to
their increasing workload, which is quite
understandable considering how many
companies are going online these days.
They promised to do better next time.
www.atanet.org

Figure 7: Interactio interface for participants
Technical Requirements:
■	

Ethernet connection: Connection
reaction time (Ping) should be less
than 100 milliseconds; download and
upload bandwidth should be equal or
greater than 10 Mbps

■	

Google Chrome

■	

Professional hardwired headset

■	

It's possible to configure several video
channels, including the presenter's
slides, and switch between them. There
are two incoming and two outgoing
channels. The EN/ZH buttons at the top
under the Mute button are for outgoing
channels. The Relay/DE/ZH buttons at
the bottom are for incoming channels.

■	

The On Air button controls the
interpreter's microphone (red means on,
grey means off). The Mute button is used
for switching the microphone off for
short periods. Below the On Air button
there is a chat for interpreters with hot
buttons ( " Take please, " " I'm ON AIR, "
" Ok, " " Clear " ). However, unlike other
platforms, you can't communicate with
a moderator here. A special Whatsapp
chat has been created for this purpose.

■	

At the bottom on the left there is one
more window (or two, if there are two
interpreters). The interpreters can see
and hear each other here even if no
one is On Air at the moment, which
is another distinctive feature of these
platforms. The question is whether
this is convenient and necessary. In my
view, the microphone indicator and the
partner's audio when " On Air " is enough.

■	

The interpreters' video and audio feed
can be disabled if needed. However, it
should be noted that if you accidently
switch off the audio on your side, your
partner won't be able to switch it on. It

Mobile App: There's no mobile app for
interpreters. However, at the time of this
writing, Interactio is testing an app that
can be downloaded to a PC or laptop
and used for participating in an event
or interpreting alongside the browser
version. This is a new feature we have not
seen before.

SPEAKUS
https://speakus.club/
SPEAKUS and VERSPEAK (discussed on
page 20) have long been identical in terms
of functionality (the company has recently
divided into two brands), but some time
ago VERSPEAK rolled out a new release
with a completely new interface.
Let's start with SPEAKUS. It's a
dedicated RSI platform, so it connects to
external programs for online events.
Interface: As you can see from Figure 8
on page 20, the interface looks simpler
than other platforms, but all the main
functions are there.

American Translators Association

19


https://www.speakus.club/ http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020

Contents
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The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020 - Contents
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The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020 - Cover4
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