your very own babelfish?

Who has read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and not thought a Babelfish would be a pretty cool thing to have?

Ever since I first came across speech-to-text technology about 15 years ago, I’ve imagined an electronic Babelfish – a pair of glasses with a ‘head up’ display and a directional microphone coupled with some nifty speech-to-text plus translation software, so that you could ‘tune in’ to conversations that you otherwise couldn’t understand at all.

Well, I reckon it’s only a matter of time now before someone gets the speech-to-text capability of Google’s Nexus One to couple with Google’s ever improving translation software to produce the first electronic Babelfish. Perhaps not the form factor I envisaged, but now I think of it – probably even better to be able to show the text to someone on a screen or play the translated text-to-speech through the phone’s speaker.

Exciting times!