Editorial note: Here’s another post from Ultan O’Broin (@ultan) from the Oracle Applications User Experience Team in Dublin. Enjoy.
Wow! A new year and already another cool translation feature in the mobile space announced. Following last month’s Word Lens launch, this time it’s Conversation Mode for Google Translate on Android. Here’s how it works:
In conversation mode, simply press the microphone for your language and start speaking. Google Translate will translate your speech and read the translation out loud. Your conversation partner can then respond in their language, and you’ll hear the translation spoken back to you.
Seems like we’re moving close to the Star Trek Universal Translator all the time, huh?
Right now, Conversation Mode is alpha, and supports English and Spanish only. But don’t knock it. It won’t put interpreters and translators out of business but will let mobile users communicate easily when there is no alternative translation available.
Some think that Google Translate has run out of steam (it probably has in its current form for the major languages), but kudos to Google for continually finding new ways to use Google Translate to help people communicate the world over.
All this is a reminder about Android’s growing global significance (sorry iPhone fanbois) and of critical mobile user experience aspects such as personalization (have it any way you like it, even by language), but also that there’s huge market potential for mobile apps and features outside of the U.S. So don’t forget to internationalize your products!
The technology itself probably has all sorts of uses in the assistive area, as well as in sales, customer support and service, generally.
But your thoughts? We call ‘em Comments.