Throughout history, language barriers have represented an impediment to foreign travel. Until recently, travelers either communicated via basic words or phrases they learned in advance, or they were forced to resort to using pocket translation books.
However, breakthroughs in the effectiveness of machine translation software and translation-enabled devices have given travelers useful new tools that can allow them to communicate effectively in foreign countries.
For example, Waverly Labs is offering the Pilot Earpiece Kit, which it bills as the world’s first translation earpiece. The Pilot allows wearers to hear other people’s words in whatever language they understand. Simply put, when one person speaks, the other hears it in his language.
In another development, speech translation apps for smartphones are now widely available that help travelers communicate by interpreting their spoken words. For instance, the Google Translate app supports real-time two-way speech interpretation in 32 languages.
Apps are also available that allow users to point their smartphone’s camera at written text, such as street signs or instructions, and translate the words instantly. The Google app currently supports this capability for 30 languages.
Text message, documents and webpage translation have enabled foreign travelers find information they need and to communicate effectively to reserve travel, book appointments and perform other tasks.
With a range of capabilities and widespread availability in apps and devices, machine translation is making foreign trips simpler and helping to overcome language barriers that impede travel.
Pratik Dhebri is senior director of product management at Veritone and is truly democratizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) by orchestrating best-of-breed cognitive engines. He works with AI developers and cognitive engine providers to architect and monetize algorithms and applications. Learn more about our platform and join the Veritone developer ecosystem today.