When some time ago I wrote about Skype Translator, I really didn’t think that already in 2015 Skype will become the only tool for audio conferences that I’ll use for personal and business (we’ll move out from Microsoft Lync)
As any business app, Skype now provides services for a more complete experience, the online translation is one of them. Today I started to try with some coworkers Skype Translator and the truth is that it left me amazed.
Let’s look at a simple example on how Skype Translator works. First of all, Skype client is a WinRT app, with the same new layout for the favorites, contacts, etc.
When we access a contact we see that we have the option to activate the Translate mode. In the event that activate it, we can define the language of the chat and audio of our interlocutor. In this case, I will use English for my native language and the account that I speak it will be in Spanish.
At the beginning of the call, we have an interesting “disclaimer” where he says that calls will be recorded for the improvement of the service, the service is still in Beta. And then it begins the interesting thing, whenever you say a phrase (in English), the following happens
- The said sentence is recognized in the native language (English in my case)
- The service translates this sentence to plain text
- The service translates this text into the language of the receiver (Spanish)
- The IM window shows the original text and the translated text in the chat window
- A Text To Speech service undertakes to pronounce the translated text
The following image shows an example of this service in demo mode
In a future post, I will make a video with a native language person, since the recognition both in Spanish and in English works very well. At the end of the call, are asked to give an assessment of the quality of the same.
On the app options we can define our preferences, spoken language type, choice of voice for TTS (Bob or Jane) or the level of profanity filter.
Concluding comment that early experiences have been very good. We have thrown us a few laughs with voice recognition and it disappointed me that only work with Skype contacts (no Lync or Skype for Business for now).The lesson learned is the same as long as use voice recognition tools:
Use short, simple sentences. Soft-spoken.
Greetings @ Madrid
Microsoft Research: http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=217733