By >Daimaou - G.G-B
C&C iEXPO 09 : Hands on with NEC automatic Translator
Automatic translators are nothing new, but NEC solution that I could test this morning is brand new and good news is it may soon become real, even sooner than you may think.
Thanks to a head mounted display attached to a pair of glasses like solution and fitted with a hands free headphone and microphone, you will be all geared up to travel around the world and speak to other people in your own language without the fastidious need to learn another one… Yes, this is the kind of Bablefish we have all been dreaming to own for a long time now.
So once suited up with all that on your head, the only thing you need to do is just to push a button, which is some kind of “Buzzer” and speaker… Right away, the Automatic Translator will send to the person in front of you, who happens to wear the same system, the correct translation of your words in his/her own language. Interesting is that the translation is not only transmitted in audio form via the headphones but also appears written on the head mounted display…and the conversation goes so on and on..
Although of course the solution proposed during the C&C iEXPO 09 was a bit bulky, NEC has some more compact solution that is about to be introduced and is ready to be shipped in the near future.
Although so far the system is only available in both Japanese and American English, NEC told me that they were of course going to provide the system for other languages in the future to match the needs of different travelers.
Coming to my experience, actually it was quite interesting as despite my thick French accent, the system was capable of understanding my English.
All in all, however impressive the system was, I could not help wondering about the drawback of the need for 2 people to have the same system in order to be able to communicate. And what if the person you would have conversation with happens to be wearing a competitor Automatic Translator…Would they be able to understand each other? And How about the cost of these kinds of solutions, will it be cheap enough for anyone to afford one?