Microsoft used the first ever Code Conference earlier this week to show off Skype’s real-time translator feature.
Skype Translator lets you speak to other users in their language of choice. The words are translated in real-time to the recipient. There is a slight delay from when you speak to when it gets translated.
Skype will also show a text translation of what one user said to the other in case the voice translation can’t keep up with the speaker or can’t handle a pronunciation of certain words. Accents will probably be one of the biggest hurdles for this kind of tech.
Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Skype Gurdeep Pall wrote a bit more about Skype’s newest feature in a blog post.
“Skype Translator results from decades of work by the industry, years of work by our researchers, and now is being developed jointly by the Skype and Microsoft Translator teams,” Pall wrote.
“Skype Translator is a great example of why Microsoft invests in basic research. We’ve invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they’re emerging as important components in this more personal computing era.”
When will you be able to test drive it? You’ll need Windows 8 and it’ll be available as a beta app before the end of the year.
Microsoft’s research team released a video on Tuesday showing off a user speaking German to an English speaker and vice versa. Check it out below.