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View Full Version : Pocket PCs As Speech Translators

Janak Parekh
01-04-2004, 04:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.trnmag.com/Stories/2003/121703/PDA_translates_speech_121703.html' target='_blank'>http://www.trnmag.com/Stories/2003/...ech_121703.html</a><br /><br /></div>"As speech recognition technology gets better, and as handheld computers get more powerful, audio translators are becoming a more practical proposition. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Cepstral, LLC, Multimodal Technologies Inc. and Mobile Technologies Inc. have put together a two-way speech-to-speech system that translates medical information from Arabic to English and English to Arabic and runs on an iPaq handheld computer. The prototype falls short of Star Trek's fictional universal translator in several ways. The system is not transparent -- it must be switched between Arabic-to-English and English-to-Arabic modes. It also works only when the speakers are talking about medical information, and it's only about 80 percent accurate in the lab. The device shows that it's becoming possible, however, to provide automatic translation using a portable device."<br /><br />It's still very application-specific, but is the beginning of a very cool premise -- your PDA becoming your personal <i>communicator</i>. This has been sci-fi fodder for years -- I can't wait for the day when it's reality. 8)

01-04-2004, 06:54 PM
Imagine the PPC that has enough juice to act as a babel fish for the 6800+ languages we have on this planet. My great-grandchildren might see something like that but I doubt we will. The premise is awesome, but I think its still sci-fi fodder for generations to come.

01-05-2004, 06:47 PM
As I was researching apps to use on my recent trip to Europe, I found an app called Pocket translator that has pre-defined phrases, but at any time you can speak and it will try to find the correct phrase. Except for the immense amount of storage you would need to keep the possible millions of combinations of words and phrases, you could have one powerful enough to get around another country.

By the way, I chose not to buy this one I found because in the demo I found it chose the wrong phrase too many times. But interesting anyway.

I'll edit if I find the name of the app.