Having helped hundreds of multilingual events turn into a success, we at Translators USA know what it takes to break the language barrier in both small and large venues. But we also know that sometimes breaking the language barrier isn't enough. While interpreters' confidentiality goes without saying, this cannot always be claimed for interpreting equipment. When confidentiality is top priority, interpreting equipment should therefore be selected very carefully.
What are the Options Anyway?
You can basically choose between two technologies when it comes to interpreting equipment: FM and IR. The first uses radio waves to transmit sound, typically at FM frequencies under 88.1 MHz (although there is also technology that allows transmission of translation over the FM band 88.1-108.1 MHz). This means that translation cannot be picked up without special receivers operating at a particular frequency. So if you're using solutions that operate at frequencies under 88.1 MHz, you're safe right? Not necessarily because radio waves travel through walls. If your interpreting system has a great range, the interpretation can thus potentially be listened to from other rooms in the building and even from outside of the building.
Even though most FM systems feature advanced security technology which makes it very difficult to intercept the broadcast translation, the level of security cannot compare to that provided by IR interpreting systems. This is because they use infrared waves to broadcast sound. And since IR waves can't travel through walls, nothing you say leaves the room. Thus can be concluded that IR interpreting solutions are ideal for events of highly confidential nature.
Before Making the Final Decision...
When deciding between FM and IR interpreting systems, there are other factors to consider besides confidentiality: transmission range, susceptibility to interferences, portability, ease of use, etc. Then, there is also the price factor. And in most of the mentioned factors, FM 'beats' IR as solutions using IR signals usually have a shorter transmission range, are susceptible to sunlight and therefore inappropriate for outdoor use (but immune to FM interference!), heavier, more complicated to set up and operate, and more expensive.
There is another option if you don't want to take any chances when it comes to confidentiality - whisper and consecutive interpreting. Both require only an experienced interpreter who maintains absolute confidentiality. You don't have to worry about anyone listening in the adjacent room or outside the building and you don't need any interpreting equipment at all.
Translators USA Can Accommodate Your Needs Perfectly
Translators USA can help you with both interpreting equipment and interpreters. Our online store offers a wide selection of both FM and IR systems for a wide range of applications and just about everyone's budget, while our team of interpreters can handle any kind of event in any type of industry professionally and cost-effectively. For more information, please contact us through our website or call 888-790-8872. We are available 365 days a year!