The free Google Translate app now incorporates spoken voice translation for 38 languages plus text-in-image translation. The text-in-image translation runs locally on the phone, which is ideal as it works everywhere, while the voice recognition-and-translation requires a connection to the Google servers. In a rough real-world test, this first release appears to work quite well as it recognized and translated my poor German and Japanese correctly.
The text-in-image builds on Word Lens technology that Google acquired last year when it bought Quest Visual, a startup founded by former video game developer Otavio Good.
Microsoft is letting people signup for a preview of the real-time Skype language translation that currently only supports Spanish and English. In a lovely test of what is to come, Skype connected students in Tacoma, WA with students in Mexico City for a game of ‘Mystery Skype’ where students had to ask questions to learn the others location.
We assume that Google Translate is also deep-learning based as is the Skype translation technology.