On Our Way to the Big Apple …
We returned from Beijing while our first pilot of LanguaBooks was well underway. We would later trademark the term LanguaBooks™ as the foundation of what we like to call a 21st-century reading experience. We developed technology to allow learners to read text from the computer screen while wearing a microphone headset. As they read out loud their recording was sent up the cloud for analysis. We were early adopters of Amazon Web Services and can state that LanguaMetrics was ‘born in the cloud’.
Our proprietary speech analytics measure the understandability of the audio file, at the passage, sentence, word, and even the phoneme level. This analysis returns to the learner’s computer screen in the form of multi-colored feedback. The letters of the words are repainted, green for what is well understood, red for substitutions, orange for mispronunciations, and strike-through for omissions.
We spent many evenings with our Chinese partners brainstorming on how to create an offering that could disrupt the education market by bringing our LanguaBook™ experience directly into the after-school education market in China. We produced a short video in an effort to entice print publishers to take the leap of faith into the 21st century and allow us to license their content for reproduction in LanguaBook™ form.
We began cold-calling publishers from a list we found on the internet. It was rough going, in hindsight, we were ahead of our time, and print publishers have spent decades building their reputations which they do not want to put at risk. It was starting to look like this would be a rough road ahead for our concept.
It’s always good practice to make one more call than you planned on a day’s worth of calls. That extra call was the beginning of our partnership with Rosen Publishing of New York City. We were very fortunate to meet Roger Rosen who was willing to take a chance and allow the license of a substantial library for us to produce around 2,000 LanguaBooks for use in China under the product name, “Reading Mate”.
This launched the next exciting chapter in our journey as over the next few years we produced LanguaBooks™ based on the high-quality content from Rosen Publishing for distribution by our Chinese partners throughout China. Very proud to say that this partnership continues to this day.
Coming up, the opportunity to create the first AI based assessment of university teachers of English in China…