What is Waygo?
Traveling to China? Waygo by Translate Abroad makes becoming a local easy, tackling the language barrier that can hold you back during a business or leisure trip. Using optical character recognition (OCR), Waygo translates Chinese to English by simply holding your smartphone camera over the characters with no need for an Internet connection. It is also a helpful tool for language learners to master new words and phrases.
Waygo uses proprietary algorithms to create simple phrases. When benchmarked against ABBYY (the top commercial OCR) our software is five times faster, two times more accurate, and a tenth of the file size.
The idea for Waygo came about two years ago as Ryan Rogowski, CEO, was working in China building mobile games. He was in the process of learning Chinese and found it extremely difficult, especially for someone used to romance languages. If only there were a tool that he could look up characters by simply pointing a phone camera at the text, his – and many others – lives would become much easier. At first the idea was an educational tool, but eventually it became clear that this could help any traveler in any country see with new eyes. We have decided to first focus on China and the East Asian market because that’s where our team has the most experience. It also the most difficult batch of languages to solve and we were up for the challenge! Our roots have provided a solid foundation, and we are excited for what we have in the works–improvements and future app versions.
Why The Name Waygo?
Waygo helps travelers go to a foreign country, or 外国 (“wài guó”) in Chinese. After discovering Americans have difficulty pronouncing Chinese, we adapted the pinyin to the English language.