Google’s translating telephone, first discussed in February 2010, “will be coming soon” a tipster told us earlier today.
It turns out that isn’t correct. Google PR told me today that “it is a ways off” from being launched.
But Google has been talking about the product, which translates voice into another language and then speaks the translation to the listener, quite a bit lately.
CEO Eric Schmidt mentioned it during his talk at TechCrunch Disrupt late last month. And Product Management Director Hugo Barra (recently in the TCTV studio) actually demo’d the product in Berlin in early September. Watch that demo here.
But this isn’t a one horse race. Microsoft has their own version of the product, too. I saw Microsoft’s translating telephone live, and video’d the demo (also, oddly enough, between an English and German speaker).
Microsoft didn’t seem to be in any rush to productize their translation service, either. But I hope one of them does, and soon.
The market for this is huge, even if the services don’t work all that well at first. Being able to pick up the phone and talk to someone without a common language would help make the world a smaller place. Business relationships and friendships could be forged that would otherwise be ignored.
And the device would also be very useful for communicating with alien races, as shown on Star Trek. In that wonderful television series, however, the universal translator wasn’t invented until late in our 22nd century.
I don’t have that kind of time, guys.
First one to market gets one heck of a TechCrunch Review, and free AOL tshirts for the whole team. Even though the translations will be hilarious. Let’s do this! Then, while sitting in my self driving car with nothing much to do, I can call people in Finland and have interesting conversations about the history of Nokia.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...
Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and...