Microsoft's Translator service will soon support translating multi-lingual group conversations in real time. As reported by ZDNet, Microsoft demoed an early version of the feature on stage at its Future Decoded event in London.
During the demo, Microsoft showed Translator handling a conversation between three people conducted in French, English and German in real time. As the conversation played out, each person saw a real-time text translation of what was being said via a phone app. From ZDNet:
"The idea is to say 'Everybody has a smart device, a smartphone or a tablet. What if we could harness the power of those smart devices to enable real-time, multilingual conversation translation for an in-person situation?'," said Olivier Fortana, director of product strategy for Microsoft Translator, in a pitch that suggested the translation service might be available offline.
While still a prototype, Microsoft is hoping to release a preview version of the new app by the end of the year. At that time, the translator service is planned to support 9 spoken languages and 60 for text. Given the fact that translator only supports conversations between two speakers at the moment, that's pretty impressive.
It's expected the improved Translator features will come to Skype, as well as Microsoft's apps on Android, iOS and Windows.