Introduction to Spiders

Spiders are small portable devices for simultaneous interpreting. A Spider provides a microphone to the interpreter and several headphones for a small group to listen to the interpretation. This type of interpretation is called "whispering interpretation". Spiders can be useful for groups of 6 to 50 people.

Whispering interpretation

In the world of interpretation technology, the best setup for both the interpreters and the public are interpretation booths. The interpreters work from a isolated booth and the public listens to the interpretation through wireless receivers. Coati also operates this kind of equipment but it requires time and dedicated technicians to set up.

Whispering interpretation is a worthy alternative when interpretations booths are not available. Whispering is possible even without Spiders. If the group is small enough, the interpreters can sit amongst them, listen to the speaker without equipment and speak loud enough to be heard by the group. But this setup is very tiring for the interpreters and uncomfortable for the group as the voices of both the speaker and the interpreters overlap and make them hard to follow.

Spiders drastically improve on this situation by providing headphones for the group to listen to the interpreter. As a consequence, the interpreter can speak much lower and the situation becomes bearable.

This is what whispering interpretation looks like when using a Spider:

Basic setup

Comparison with professional equipment

What could be considered as an equivalent for Spiders on the market of interpretation technology are wireless equipments for small groups using radio frequencies or infrared. The Spider is not wireless. Spiders can involve a lot of cables and become a real mess (that's why it is called "spider"). But it still offers many advantages in comparison with its wireless counterpart:

  • Spiders are portable and several devices can fit in your luggage. Commercial wireless systems pack in suitcases of their own and weigh much more.
  • Spiders are cheap, a couple hundreds euros including all accessories. Commercial wireless system costs several thousands euros.
  • Interpreters can operate Spiders on their own without the help of a dedicated technician.

When not to use Spiders

Beware, Spiders cannot always replace interpretation booths, for example for bigger groups or complex language combinations. If this is your case, then think about contacting Coati to provide you with a complete booth system or hiring a professional equipment.


On top of that, our Spider design includes a "floor" channel. The "floor" allows the interpreters to listen to the speaker through headphones as well. This further improves working conditions for the interpreters.

Setup with floor

Extension modules

When the group gets bigger, with our Spider design you can use extension modules to provide headphones to a bigger group.

Setup with extensions