Imagine that you go on a business trip to a country whose language you cannot speak, read or write. You are in a small town there where no one knows your language or any common language. Will you communicate via sign language? What if signs are misinterpreted and you get into a bigger trouble?
We have various language translation devices, mobile phone apps, websites and google, however, all these means are not fast enough or sophisticated to cope with real time challenge. I am proposing a mobile phone app (so a new device need not be created) that can listen in one language and it translates it into another language and narrates it back.
What’s the need?
With the reduction in transportation and communication costs, the world is becoming a global village. Executives travel across the globe for business purpose. Students go to various countries for studies or in exchange programs. People go for foreign vacations. Spies may go for classified reasons.
Many a times, a common language does not exist between these travelers and local people. If the proposed app can carry out following major functions then you can sell this app for premium.
- The App should be able to act as personal translator by which user can request local person to speak in smart phone and smart phone in turn speaks out in smart phone owner’s preferred language.
- The App should be able to translate language of speaker on one side of phone call to the preferred language of other side of the call. This translation should be so seamless that people on the call should feel that person on other side of the call is speaking his language.
These functions may help a traveler carry out tasks such as talking to local people, booking a taxi or even calling emergency services. These travelers spend a lot of money to fund their travel and they may shell out some more if an app can make their life easy.
How far are we from this app?
The app needs four major components
- Listen voice and convert voice to text
- Detect language of text and translate it into language of choice
- Convert written text into speech and transmit to play it back
- Interface to translate language of the phone call
Individually, the first three components already exists and fourth one probably does. If the fourth component does not exist then it will need to be prepared. Your task would be to connect all these components to make one app.
1. Listen voice and convert voice to text
- Google search already utilizes speak to search feature.
- There are other apps that can convert voice to text and then prepare notes and sms using that. Refer to 3 Mobile Apps for Converting Voice to Text
- There are other independent softwares available to transform voice to text.
2. Detect language of text and translate it into language of choice
- Google Translate already detects language and can translate into 70 languages (and counting).
- You may find many apps that can convert text in one language to text in another language.
- Apps can locate smart phone using location services. The App can find the most used languages in area using google.
- The App can have setting for Smart phone owner to set his language or it can detect the language that owner mostly speaks.
3. Convert written text into speech and transmit to play it back
- Search on google and you will find so many TTS services.
- You may check out naturalreaders.com and Neospeech.com. Neospeech even provides tools to create apps using their service.
4. Interface to translate language of the phone call
- Such interface was described by Dan Brown in his book Deception Point in which Delta Force soldier speaks into his highly secured phone, phone converts that conversation into text, encodes it and transmits to the listener.
- Phone tapping is a form of interface between callers on two sides of phone.