Google's Translating Earbuds

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by heirophant, Oct 5, 2017.

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  1. heirophant

    heirophant Member

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    This is kind of cool (if it works as described). It was just unveiled at the Google hardware event in San Francisco.

    It's a special set of earbuds that go with Google's newest Pixel 2 phone. You can tap the right bud and say "Help me speak Japanese". Then if you speak in English after that, the speaker on your phone says the same thing in Japanese, in almost real time. If somebody replies in Japanese, your earbuds give it to you in English. Apparently a lot of the computing power that does this is in the earbuds, not in the phone. And reportedly it works with 40 languages. The multilingual earbuds are priced at $159 US. It's a development of Google Translate, which has been around for a while.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/04/google-pixel-buds-translation-change-the-world/

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/04/google-translation-earbuds-google-pixel-buds-launched.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2017
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    Maybe the first step toward the Star Trek universal translator.
     
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    Using my Android phone, I recently had a conversation with a Turk who spoke functionally zero English. That this was possible at all was amazing, but let's just say that the translation quality leaves Google with a lot of opportunity for improvement.
     
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    Their online translator leaves much to be desired so it's hard to believe this wouldn't be the same. Still, you don't expect perfection on day one. These things always improve incrementally.
     
  5. heirophant

    heirophant Member

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    I just used it a couple of days ago to read a Spanish language newspaper article about Spanish army troops being sent to Catalonia. The English translation was easily understandable and wasn't worded all that strangely. I have a weak reading knowledge of Spanish and from what I could see, the translation seemed to accurately capture the meaning of the original text.

    But yeah, they are working on their translation engine all the time and it's constantly improving.
     

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