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Google Goggles Could Help Multi-Lingual Transactions

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Good ol’ google goggles

googles gogglesWe started writing about Google Goggles last year and discussed the real estate implications for this new technology and this month, Google has announced that the Google Goggles feature will offer translation services.

Currently only offered in German to English translation with more languages to come, users can snap a picture of a piece of paper and via Google Goggles, it will be translated into English. This isn’t just useful for reading the bus map in Chinatown or for communicating with the pharmacist in Mexico after getting skin poisoning on the last day of your honeymoon (ahem), but has promising potential for use in real estate.

Real Estate Goggles

Googles’ goal is to make more information useful while on the go but in the field, multi-lingual communication is necessary at times. For example, we worked with a couple that were friends of ours, and the husband spoke English almost fluently and the wife only spoke Spanish, and at times, it would have been helpful if an English document/note could have been photographed and translated by Google Goggles for the wife for the words her husband nor I could translate. Sure, there was a Spanish speaking lender and broker on the deal and we went above and beyond to help, but there were one or two notes that Goggles could have saved us time with.

In real estate, customer service is the name of the game and frequently, multi-lingual clients pretend to understand everything they see and on the other hand, agents believe they’re using their high school Spanish properly. We all want to make sure someone understands the biggest investment of their lives before signing on the dotted line and it looks like Google Goggles could eventually be used to make sure that this happens.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius and sister news outlet, The Real Daily, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Greg Barnhouse

    February 23, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Thanks for the insight, Lani. This is always an important issue with us. Luckily, mi esposa, Diana, having grown up in a Hispanic family in San Antonio, has the Spanish and all the cultural aspects that go along with understanding and meeting the needs of our clients. While it is great to have each other covered, it looks like I may be better able to keep up with the help of Google Goggles. Liked it so much, I gave it a Tweet!

    Thanks,
    Greg

  2. Peter Owen

    February 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

    This will be a great tool. I am a Hispanic Texan, and like most think I have a good command of the Spanish language until I have to communicate in legal language of real estate. We can all use the help

    Peter

    • Lani Rosales

      February 23, 2010 at 9:39 am

      Peter, in Texas we have Spanish contracts but it sucks that if you give one, you’re open and liable to provide all forms of communication thereafter in Spanish. I think Goggles helps to bridge that gap between trying to communicate and being required to provide fluent Spanish for a client.

      It’s always tricky when there’s an entire set of words (like legal diction) missing… so, I can speak conversationally, but technical and some contractual vocabulary is missing, I just never learned it!

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Jenzy helps perfectly measure your kids’ feet

(TECH NEWS) Jenzy is a mobile app currently in beta that helps you perfectly measure your kids feet and buy shoes without having to leave your home.

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Parents rejoice, there’s now a mobile app that sizes your child’s feet to determine their correct shoe size. No more carpet charts that every kid has put their dirty little socked foot on, or those weird metal sizing instruments.

With Jenzy, you just take a picture of your child’s foot, and the app calculates the measurements. It then generates personalized size and style recommendations, which you can order directly from the app.

Jenzy partners with podiatrist recommended brands designed for active kids, including pediped, Robeez, and Morgan & Milo. However, you don’t have to purchase their suggestions to receive the sizing info.

Incorrectly sized shoes are a literal pain for everyone, but this especially affects children, who don’t have purchasing power.

Additionally, shoes that don’t fit can have long-term effects on children’s growth and development, and lead to foot problems in the future. Properly fitted shoes are necessary for healthy foot development.

Wearing incorrectly sized shoes is just part of the problem. If shoes aren’t suited for every day use, children’s feet and overall growth can also suffer.

Flip flops, ballet pumps, and shoes with raised heels are not recommended by podiatrists for frequent use, as they can cause discomfort, or even musculoskeletal issues.

According to Dr. Stewart Morrison, a University of Brighton podiatrist, “children’s feet are still growing and are more susceptible to damage than adult feet, so it’s really vital to ensure they are wearing shoes which fit them well – in width as well as length – and that are suitable for age, as well as the task they are wearing them for.”

As online shopping has taken over, fewer parents are getting their children’s feet sized by in-store experts. Of course, there’s also a cost-barrier, as many stores that offer shoe-sizing are often more expensive.

Jenzy hopes to bridge that gap, providing parents both proper shoe sizes and affordable products designed to last.

Right now the app is set to launch in December, but if you don’t want to wait, apply to take part in the beta test on Jenzy’s site.

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Time is money and Clockify helps you make the most

(TECH NEWS) Tracking your time worked as a freelancer can easily be lost in the shuffle. A new tool has been designed to make this important aspect easier.

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clockify

After years of searching for a method that works for me in terms of organization and productivity, the answer seemed to be simple: a calendar I can write on and Post-It notes. This method is a little old school, but seems to get the job done for my organizational needs.

However, there are some things that slip through the cracks with this method, but it’s more user error than it is the actual practice. One thing I struggle with is keeping track of my freelance hours this way.

I have a tendency to guesstimate how much time I worked throughout the day and know that I wind up underdocumenting my hours. I would hate to know how much money I’ve missed out on keeping (sometimes inaccurate) handwritten notes.

But, like many other small scale issues, there is a simple solution. And that is found in the form of time trackers.

One of the newest members to join the online time tracker team is Clockify, who operates under the idea of “your time, your rules.” It is a free time tracking tool designed for agencies and freelancers.

Clockify allows users to manage as many team members, projects, and workspaces that you need in an effort to help your business run smoothly. This allows for a complete overview of team productivity.

The tool offers a way to enter time manually as well as clock time automatically. This way you can keep tabs on what you’re working on and assign and label time logs to the appropriate clients.

With this time tracking, you are able to generate weekly, monthly, and annual reports at any given time. These reports can be saved, exported, and shared with clients to give them more information about your work process.

The real-time tracking helps to improve business efficiency and gives more insight into what each team member is spending their time on. Having this information available can give visual representation of how to improve in the future.

Clockify currently exists in desktop format with iOS and Android apps coming soon.

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Russia vetoed cryptocurrency and came back with CryptoRuble

(TECH NEWS) Russia put a hard pass on other cryptocurrencies in their country so that they could hop in the crypto-game with their own CryptoRuble.

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Just days after The American Genius reported that the Russian Central Bank would attempt to block access to cryptocurrency trading cites, the Coin Telegraph has reported that the Russian government will issue its very own cryptocurrency, the CryptoRuble.

The report cited local Russian papers, who quoted the minister of communications, Nikolay Nikiforov.

Earlier this week, head of the Central Bank, Sergei Shvetsov, said that he would work with the Prosecutor General’s Office to ban Russian citizens from accessing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, calling such currencies a “negative phenomena for our markets” and a “pyramid scheme.”

Now it appears that the Kremlin will create its own cryptocurrency – one it can keep an eye on — which, some might argue, defeats the entire purpose of cryptocurrency.

However, like other cryptocurrencies the CryptoRuble will be based on blockchain and will presumably help prevent online fraud.

CryptoRubles will be exchangeable with regular Rubles, although the systems of exchange have not yet been set up. Experts think that Russia is hoping to stimulate e-commerce without the need for foreign money markets, which will allow them to have more independence from the United States.

According to Nikiforov, the Russian government is setting up its own cryptocurrency under the assumption that if they don’t, other European governments will.

Said NIkiforov, “I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after two months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will.”

Traders using CryptoRubles will be asked to provide documentation of retail transactions and services rendered – or pay a 13 percent tax for undocumented transactions, leaving a wide loophole for money laundering.

Critics say that Russia is trying to facilitate, while also profiting from money laundering; that the Kremlin is stealing the market from other cryptocurrencies; and that the CryptoRuble fundamentally defies the spirit of decentralization that inspired other cryptocurrencies.

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