Development of “ChaTra”, a Speech Translation Application for Smartphone
The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in Japan have announced the development of a new speech translation application for smartphones capable of real-time multilingual communication. This machine-based multilingual speech translation technology can be used by multiple users each their terminal devices such as iPhone and Android-based smartphones. This user friendly application covers 21 languages with text input/output and among them 6 languages with speech input/output, performing highly accurate translation for the travel domain.
This network based speech-to-speech translation application which is based on protocol that has been standardized in ITU-T, allows people around the globe to connect to processing servers for Speech Recognition, Machine Translation, and speech Synthesis, using the internet via 3G or WiFi connection. Maximum number of users who can use “ChaTra” at once is 5. NICT is planning to offer the new application for free to public to promote its use and at the same time to foster the feasibility and usability study in real life. It would be nice to see the application of this technology in a something like Bluetooth headphone, where the user just hear the automatic translation of the different individuals spoken in various languages in their native language, very close to the ideal universal translator in “Star Trek” series.