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August 18, 2016

Agora.io and Lingoland Offer New Alternative to Rosetta Stone

Most people likely think “Rosetta Stone” first when considering tools to help learn a new language. It's worked for a lot of people before and it will likely work for them too. There are other alternatives, however, and Agora.io and Lingoland recently got together to develop a new and powerful tool for learning languages, using real time communications as a base.

The new partnership adds Agora Voice capability to Lingoland's standard line of operations, allowing users access to a mobile app that offers an immersion program for learning languages right from a mobile device. Using the app, students can actually role-play with live English tutors in simulations of New York City streets, San Francisco landmarks and a slate of others set to follow.

Lingoland turned to Agora.io for not only its Agora Voice system, but also for its global connectivity, its ready ability to work with the “last mile” connectivity of mobile devices, and for software development kits (SDKs) that were appropriately easy to work with. With these points in hand, Lingoland could light a real fire under development processes, and meant the addition took about two weeks with no need for upfront costs.

Meanwhile, Lingoland's CEO Tony Diepenbrock offered comment, saying “Agora.io provides excellent connectivity across the Pacific Ocean. We will not succeed if the connections between our students and tutors drop. Getting WebRTC to work across the globe with low latency is very challenging, and given that our students are in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan, Agora was the clear choice. Our students frequently comment on the quality of our tutors' voices in Lingoland, and they are surprised when they realize their tutor is more than 11,000 kilometers away.”

Language services represent a substantial market right now, and Lingoland's augmentations may give it a real edge in the field. Given that English language services alone saw $2.8 billion in revenues in just 2015, and are projected to hit $3.8 billion by 2020, that's a field that means clear opportunity for those in the market. No opportunity, however, exists in isolation; it must be aggressively attacked in order to get the most out of it. That means companies like Lingoland need to put their best foot forward and provide the best in customer experience in order to take and hold new markets. Lingoland turning to real time communications allows students a more realistic look at how English is used in the field, and even allows users to simulate these circumstances. That makes the user more confident when approaching real-world use cases, and makes the training received more valuable.

It's not just about Rosetta Stone any more. Agora.io and Lingoland together can be a major force for learning, and for every student that goes out, confident in his or her ability to speak English, that's one more victory for this new combined effort.

Edited by Alicia Young
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