Wearable simultaneous translation devices may not yet have arrived, but a new wearable computer for corporate ‘field operations’ brings translators that convert voice to text on the fly a step closer to reality.
Japanese electronics giant NEC’s long-awaited Tele Scouter gadget was finally launched in October. Resembling a pair of spectacles, it has frames but lacks lenses and projects text directly onto the user’s retina. Back in 2010, tech blogs reported that there would be an English-to-Japanese version available for use in sensitive situations where ‘confidential translations’ without an interpreter were needed.
When Tele Scouter eventually appeared, NEC told the Gazette, ‘The translation application is not available yet and a release date remains to be decided,’ but it seems to be on the way. See the September 2010 Gazette for Babelfisk, voice-to-text spectacles for the deaf still at the concept design stage.
(This first appeared in the EL Gazette, February 2012, since then Google unveiled a prototype of its simultaneous translation spectacles.)