iPad Translation App Wins O2 Think Big Appskool Contest

Tom Humphrey, a 17 year-old A-level student from Eton College has triumphed in the O2 Think Big ‘Appskool’ competition, run in partnership with Golden Gekko, which challenged  schools and students to design a mobile app with an educational or learning theme.

Humphrey’s iPad app, Lingo – Tangible Translation, aims to help language learners by combining the speed of online translation services with the learning experience of dictionaries and a built in notebook. As the competition winner, Humphrey’s app has been developed with the help of O2 and Golden Gekko, and is now available in the Apple App Store.

The competition, which was open to 13-18 year olds, enabled young people to get involved in creating a new digital service and, by doing so, learn the business and digital skills that are essential in the modern economy.

Humphrey is currently studying Physics, Maths, Latin and History, and has been offered an internship at Golden Gekko. He said: “I created Lingo – Tangible Translation based on my own experience of learning languages. The most powerful tool for a language student used to be the dictionary; the introduction of new digital translation tools meant this was no longer the case. These new translation tools could do a lot more a lot faster than was possible with a dictionary, however they were not built to educate but to translate. Students did not learn as much when using the tools, but because of their speed, they were far more attractive than dictionaries, even the digital ones. Lingo – Tangible Translation is an attempt to find a balance between the two, to combine the speed of digital translation tools with the educational value of dictionaries.”

Caroline van den Bergh, head of business development at Golden Gekko, said that helping to provide a platform for young people to gain insight into what it’s like to work within mobile had been more of a success that anyone involved could have anticipated. 

“We learnt greatly throughout the experience, working with young minds,” she said. “Tom’s input throughout the development process has been a testament to what a fantastically talented individual he is, and puts many people twice his age to shame. We really hope to see more initiatives like this supporting young people and showing them great alternative career paths.”

The app is a simple, one-tap language dictionary that produces easy-to-use personal wordlists for language students. Tapping any word you don’t know brings up a definition instantly, which is stored in the app’s Wordlist, just as if you had looked it up in a dictionary. The app translates between English and French, Spanish and Italian and is free to download.