Microsoft Translator Gets Onto Your Wrist
Smartwatch is an even more useful tool from now on. Microsoft has rolled out an important update for its Translator app, both for iOS and Android. Now you can ease your real-life conversation through the language barrier with your watch. This Microsoft app is completely free, and that would be surprising back in 2010 but is quite a routine now.
Translating services can help the most in the situation when you run into an unfamiliar foreign word or a phrase and you need to translate it quickly. Another popular case is translating your own speech for a foreigner who doesn’t speak any language you speak.
The latter problem now seems much easier to solve with a smartwatch. On Thursday, December 17, Microsoft presented this update, a minor one for those without wrist screens and an important one for those with watches for more than querying time.
In fact, some features of Microsoft Translator have become available on smartwatches earlier in 2015. But the only use of the watch was speaking into its mic. It still took your smartphone to display the result. Now communication steps ahead and allows “duplex mode” talking.
You can move your phone or your watch closer to the person you’re talking to, so one of you will speak to the watch in his/her native language and the other one will read or hear the translated phrase, and vice versa.
Well, if you haven’t decorated your wrist with a smartwatch by this Christmas, you can use your phone solely, and its screen will be split in two. It will be hard to speak at the same time into one mic so the conversation wouldn’t be that fluid. Besides, both speakers will be bound to each other and to the phone. But anyway it’s better than no tool at all.
In a galaxy far, far away it would take an anthropomorphic C3PO to make a cross-lingual dialogue possible. A smartwatch with preinstalled Microsoft Translator app is much smaller and has no habit of commenting situations that emotionally.
Of course, it doesn’t translate cyborgs’ speech and it works with much less than 6 million languages. Now there are only six languages this feature fully supports: English of course, Spanish, Italian, German, French and Chinese in traditional and simplified characters. Maybe the next one to be added is Portuguese as it’s already supported by the same engine in Skype.
A necessary warning: this tool is great while talking to someone you’re sure about. But beware of theft when using this method with strangers.