Language barriers are about to be broken way down.
Microsoft showed off its Skype Translator feature at the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on Tuesday.
Skype Translator allows users speak to into the video chatting service in their language of choice. The words are then translated into the recipient's preferred language. The system will hear users' words and do its best to translate them in real time. The display will show a text translation of what was just spoken in case the automated voice isn't able to handle a pronunciation or moves too fast.
When Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Skype and Lync, Gurdeep Pall, took to the stage to demonstrate the technology, he was able to have a conversation in English with a woman who only spoke German.
“Skype Translator results from decades of work by the industry, years of work by our researchers, and now is being developed jointly by the Skype and Microsoft Translator teams,” Pall wrote in a blog post following the demonstration. “Skype Translator is a great example of why Microsoft invests in basic research. We’ve invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they’re emerging as important components in this more personal computing era.”
Pall says Skype Translator will be available as a beta app for Windows 8 users sometime before the end of 2014. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011.
Watch the technology in action in the video below: