High-Tech Megaphone Instantly Translates Speech into Other Languages

November 26, 2015 | Kelly Tatera

Photo credit: silent@killer/Youtube

It could revolutionize intercultural communications at the 2020 Olympics.

Roughly 6,500 languages are spoken across the globe, so the language barrier can be tough to break at times. But electronics giant Panasonic hopes to revolutionize how people from different places around the world can communicate with a new high-tech megaphone that instantly translates speech.

So far, the company has developed a prototype that can translate Japanese speech into English, Chinese, and Korean. It’s currently being tested at Tokyo Narita International Airport, one of the busiest airports in Japan, so there will be plenty of opportunities to test out multi-lingual announcements with the tool.

The translator connects to the cloud to ensure the speaker’s words are being translated accurately. As Nerdist reports, the megaphone device looks like it has a tablet fused to the top of it, so the software for the translation process can’t be too far removed from that of Google Translate.

Since Japan is hosting the 2020 Olympics, the long-term goal is to be able to use these megaphones for easier and quicker communication between people of different cultures at the event. So it’s safe to assume that the device will evolve to be able to translate speech into other languages around the world as well.  

Watch the device work its magic in the video above.

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