Kiss of approval for Web translator
An online translation service with users spread all over the planet is getting some help from a man who knows what it takes to create a global brand: Gene Simmons.The Kiss frontman and serial entrepreneur has signed on with Intertainment Media’s Ortsbo as a business partner and spokesman. Ortsbo, which means “local” in Swedish, functions as a real-time filter for translating 53 different languages across 12 leading social media platforms, from Facebook to China’s Tencent QQ. Users type messages in their native languages that are instantly translated in a fashion more seamless than the cutting and pasting of textrequired in Google’s Translate service. The software can also be utilized across instant messaging, email and RSS. While Ortsbo is free on social media, some of its offerings require payment, including mobile apps to be deployed this summer. The technology resonated both personally with Simmons, an Israeli immigrant who arrived in the U.S. as a child with a Hungarian-born mother, as well as on a professional level. A one-man merchandising machine for both his band and himself, he discussed Ortsbo in an interview from a room in his Beverly Hills home teeming with Kiss gear, including a branded motorcycle and coffin. “Ortsbo takes a sledgehammer to the Tower of Babel that is modern communication,” Simmons said. “It connects humanity. We are all one people.” Simmons will function as more than mere pitchman, informing corporate strategy and even redesigning the Ortsbo logo for the recently relaunched website. Ortsbo boasts impressive growth for a service barely 9 months old. The website already reaches 9 million unique monthly users from 170 countries. Simmons noted numerous potential applications for the entertainment business since Ortsbo can allow stars to speak to fans in more than one country simultaneously. “Any pop culture entity has to be worldwide,” he said. Simmons shows no signs of slowing down these days; he and his family are currently shooting a seventh season of A&E’s “Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels.” The longest-running celebrity reality series on TV, “Jewels” has been exported to more than 80 countries.