updated 08:59 pm EDT, Sat July 27, 2013
System could allow for conversations between people to be translated automatically
Google is reportedly working on a real-time translation system for mobile phones. The search company has apparently reached a point where early prototypes for the system have shown to work extremely efficiently, with Android product management vice president Hugo Barra claiming to have reached "close to 100% accuracy."
The company has made "tons of prototypes of that sort of interaction," said Barra to The Times, with the "near-perfect" results being achieved in some language pairings, such as between speakers of Portuguese and English. While it is said to be highly accurate at times, it is reported that these results come from tests in environments lacking background noise, with the additional environmental sounds almost certainly going to negatively affect translation accuracy.
Google currently offers its own translation service, Google Translate, which provides website translation and non-real-time conversion of words and sentences. Real-time translation would be a considerable asset to the company and the Android ecosystem as a whole if rolled out, though it is likely to be a long way off from happening.