Microsoft Adding ‘Star Trek’-Like Translator to Skype
Skype, Microsoft’s online communications service, will soon be able to translate voice calls in “near real time” between people who speak different languages, much like the legendary universal communicator used in the Star Trek series.
The technology was developed by Microsoft’s Skype and Translator team, said Nadella, before showing off a development version of the software. The feature already works to translate back and forth from English to German, and Microsoft plans to get it working with numerous other languages.
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The translator doesn’t work in immediate time, reports Engadget.com. Instead, it waits until the speaker finishes talking and then translates his or her statements into subtitles on the screen. The Skype Translator will appear as a beta app for Windows 8 by the end of this year.
“Today, we have more than 300 million connected users each month, and more than 2 billion minutes of conversation a day as Skype breaks down communications barriers by delivering voice and video across a number of devices, from PCs and tablets, to smartphones and TVs,” said Pall. “But language barriers have been a blocker to productivity and human connection; Skype Translator helps us overcome this barrier.