More Automatic Translation Gadget News

As a translator, it is with a fair share of trepidation and chagrin that I “celebrate” news (such as the topic of today’s post) relating to new gadgets that facilitate–or usurp!–the job of the translator or interpreter.  Nonetheless, the gadget we’re going to be looking at here is just too nifty to disregard, and, thankfully, it is still a long way from being able to put myself or any of my colleagues out of work.

Ever wonder if you could have a nearly realtime translation projected directly onto your retina?  Well, now you can!  Enter the Tele Scouter, a new translation gadget released by Japanese tech firm NEC that consists of a portable computer unit and a headset from translators’ hell!

Here’s the deal: a microphone installed on the headset/glasses detects conversation and transmits it to a portable computer the user has on their waist; from here, software transcribes the dialog into text and, through connection to a remote server, has it machine-translated into the desired target language; it is then projected into the user’s peripheral vision by means of the snappy headset.

Now, that’s a wonderfully elaborate procedure to render a translation that is almost 100% guaranteed to be inaccurate at best, and down right abominable at worst!  Nonetheless, this cool new technology will have many applications, and though live interpreters and translators in general probably won’t feel too much of a pinch as a result of the Tele Scouter’s launch, we’re sure this item will have a neat future ahead of it.

If someone somewhere along the line manages to scrape through a multilingual conversation thanks to the Tele Scouter, well, no hard feelings on my behalf!  Something tells me its real potential lies elsewhere however…