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Google working on real time translation device, has prototypes close to ‘near perfect’

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Ever been abroad and wished you could translate what somebody is saying to you, as it happens? Google feels you. The company has been working on a device which is able to translate speech into your chosen language in real time.

Vice President of Android at Google Hugo Barra recently told The UK Times that the company already has prototype devices which he says are “near perfect” at translation. Barra specifically noted English to Portuguese translation was excellent, although the device will offer a number of different languages.

It’s not yet clear what the device will actually look like, although with the VP of Android weighing in on it, we’re expecting it to be running Google’s mobile OS in some shape or form.

Translation will of course work via voice recognition, which is thought to be the biggest hurdle. The device will need to use active noise cancellation to ensure it picks up speech accurately even in busy and noisy environments. It’s going to be no good if you whip out your translator in a busy restaurant and have to keep asking the waiter to try again because it didn’t quick pick up the full phrase.

Asides from this nifty-sounding gizmo, Google already offers a whole manner of translation tools ranging from the rather average translator built in to Chrome and the dedicated Google Translate apps for mobile devices.

There’s no word on when we can expect the device to hit the market, but for all we know it could end up being another of those prototypes that never sees the light of day. We’re hoping Google does bring it to market, are you?

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