Project Glass-Style Eyewear Translates Foreign Language Into Subtitles

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
July 25 2012 12:34 PM

Project Glass-Style Eyewear Translates Foreign Language Into Subtitles

Despite heavy investment from the military, perfect machine translation from one language to another won’t be available any time soon. But those of us who are more interested in chatting briefly with a new acquaintance who doesn’t speak the same language, or just trying to order a sandwich in a foreign country, don’t need polished translations that won’t inadvertently spark military or diplomatic fights.

Enter these glasses, which provide translation—albeit slowly—in the form of subtitles.

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Inspired by the still-in-development Project Glass—Google’s foray into augmented-reality eyewear—British DIYer Will Powell created a pair of specs that can display a rough translation during a conversation. Below, Powell and his sister speak in English and Spanish over a chess game. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s a beautiful way to show how technology could break down language barriers.

Via Dvice.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

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