Traveling is a lot of fun. I am currently in Bangkok, Thailand but was in Hong Kong and Beijing, China last week. In the next few days, I will visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia and Railay Bay, Thailand.
Growing up in Malaysia, lived in the US for my college career and looking at the differences between developed, developing and under-developed countries made me realize that regardless of where you are, people are the driving force of the society but the fundamental driving force in most places are money, power or personal satisfaction (or in some cases, creating value). In my opinion, the best way of doing this is through creating businesses.
One clear trend in all countries that I have visited this far is that mobile technologies are becoming more widely used by the people. In Hong Kong, iPhone is very popular. Having one makes you feel special or that you belong to an elite group of people. In China, there are more options but a lot of people still opt for the iPhone for the same reason. In Thailand, the younger generation prefers an iPhone but the older generation uses Blackberry. What does this means? This means that there is a larger and a more global target audience. You can reach the masses easier, faster and in a more efficient manner.
So, here is another business idea:
Problem: When traveling, it is hard to communicate with people or to understand what is written or spoken. In Beijing, a vendor spoke with the travel agent in Mandarin saying that, “I usually sell this to people for RMB 10 but since they are foreigners, I will sell it to them for RMB 12.” Thankfully, the foreigner spoke Mandarin too and caught that.
Proposed solution: A way to interpret what people say or is being written. If there is an app that could listen to what a person is saying and translate it into english, that would be very helpful. Additionally, over time, you could select the appropriate language of your choice. This would eliminate the need of a translator and use this tool instead.
Challenge: Capturing the right sound without a lot of background noise, taking accents into consideration and accurately translating the words into english.
Initial version: To reduce the background noise, initially, the app might need a funnel or a receiver that could either be attached close to someone or to design a receiver that would only capture one person’s frequency. It will capture the frequency of the first person it listens to.
Current Text translator products: