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Google Reportedly Working on Universal Translator

By Norman Chan

Basically the Google Translate service but with voice, automated, and in real-time.

The UK newspaper The Times has a report on Google's aspirations to turn mobile devices into real-time translators. This information comes from an anecdote given by Google's VP of Android, Hugo Barra, in which Barra said the company was in the early stages of prototyping hardware that could do away with the language barrier for travelers. Barra noted that the technology is likely still several years away, and its goal is near instant translation. The current Google Translate service works with text and has one-way voice input. Google has been known to talk up its aspirations for bringing science fiction devices into reality--its VPs have repeated said that the end-goal of Google Search is a Star Trek computer. The concept of the Universal Translator has its origins in Star Trek too--Gene Roddenberry would often joke that viewers were able to understand aliens because there was a Universal Translator built into their televisions.