One month after Microsoft announced its real-time translation service for Skype, reports are emerging that Google intends to announce plans to update it’s translation app with similar features.
The Google Translate app, which already offers translation of text in 90 different languages, will soon be able to recognize which language a user is speaking and translate it into written text in another language of the user’s choice.
It’s understandable if you’re going to take a wait-and-see approach rather than getting too excited about this announcement, as anyone who has used Skype’s real-time translation can tell you the experience leaves much to be desired.
However, no technology works perfectly out of the gate, and having your speech translated in real time is quite a feat even if there are some kinks to work out. Just think of any other online service when you first started using it, compared to how much more adept it is today.
The report mentions that most of the 100 million Android users who have installed Google Translate on their phones could receive the update. No mention about iPhone though — but if Google’s updates have taught us anything it’s that they’re rolled out on Android first and iPhone some time later.
The NY Times article also mentions that Google will soon introduce a service where you can hold your phone’s camera up to a street sign and receive an automatic translation.
How far either of these services are from being released was not mentioned. Expect more details when Google makes its official announcement.