Star Trek’s universal translator arrives in Afghanistan, courtesy of Android

Star Trek's universal translator arrives in Afghanistan, courtesy of Android

The US’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been trialling real-time translation systems, one of which uses a Google Nexus One handset to do real-time, spoken language translation from Pashto to English, and vice versa.

As part of its TRANSTAC project, the US research agency teamed up with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to try out three different systems for nattering with the natives.

Android translations

The system shown off below uses an Android Nexus One phone to let US soldiers talk to Afghanistan civilians, with troops on the ground later filling in reports about the device’s effectiveness.

We’re pretty sure it’ll work better than the standard British lager lout’s approach of just shouting louder, but it’s got some way to match the kind of slick gizmo that Captain Kirk would rock up into a strange new worlds with.

[Via]

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