TechCrunch Disrupt finalist Voxy, a service that lets you learn a language “from life” has just updated its iPhone app in the App Store, with one pretty disruptive difference; Voxy’s ESL app Aprende inglés now uses your location to help you learn a language, presenting you with the related vocabulary, as well things you hear and things you say if you’re at a destination like a restaurant, for example.
“We’re getting closer to being able to simulate an immersive experience where the learning is done in the flow of daily life,” says founder Paul Gollash.
Voxy monetizes by a subscription model, at $2 a month for users that want added premium services like the ability to get lessons via SMS. The service currently has 100k registered users (75k active users) and is ranked #1 in the App Store’s Education category for over 8 countries. In Spain the app is #3 in overall apps.
Realtime results are, well, fresher. Information often appears on Twitter, Facebook, etc. minutes, if not hours, before it appears on the rest of the web, including major news websites. By looking for spikes in our feeds, we detect many major events in the world well before Web and News can.
Realtime results are structured. We have strong, unambiguous, data about content authorship, date, location, social connection (e.g. followers), and actions (e.g. retweets, @replies). This allows us to do things like show results authored in the last 10 minutes within 5 miles of you by people you follow. For the rest of the web, search engines must infer this meta-information and the inherit uncertainty handicaps its usage.
Realtime results contain information not published anywhere else on the web. People are becoming sensor nodes, reporting information about the world around them. They’re complaining about the security line at JFK, photographing the fire engines outside their neighbor’s house, and checking in to their holiday party. They’re sharing the latest YouTube kitten video they watched, reacting to red-carpet photos, and writing answers to questions on Quora. Finding these sort of updates and showing them to users is a Hard problem, but an intensely satisfying one.
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