Skype’s real time translator is going live today

A little while ago we told you about the ‘open preview’ of Skype’s real time video chat translation tool. Today that tool is going live, meaning we are literally one step closer to having a real life Babel Fish.

To celebrate the launch Skype released the following video showing students in the USA and Mexico communicating using the translation tools, and provided this hasn’t been edited for effect it is mighty impressive to see it in action.

Skype also revealed the process in which the software learns and translates speech, and most importantly it’s capable of understanding the context of words as well as their meaning. Better still, Skype claims that the more people who use the translation tools, the more it will learn and the better it will become for everyone.

There are limits to the tools though. The preview is only available for Windows 8.1, and at the moment it will only translate speech between English and Spanish. Although if you’re happy sticking to instant messaging, over 40 different languages are supported.

Sadly this tool isn’t open to absolutely everyone, and you have to be one of the lucky people who receives an invite from Microsoft. If you don’t have one yet, you can go and register your interest here (I’ve signed up twice now, fingers crossed).

Tom Pritchard

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