Microsoft has been testing its real-time Skype translator system for several months, but now it’s the beginning of the public preview.
Microsoft says the tool is the product of years of work from its research team and Skype and it believes it could have a great impact in breaking barriers and helping revolutionize the way the world communicates in the future.
“As we enter an era in which computing experiences need to be more personal, Skype has looked at ways to help communities create stronger connections and be more productive,” the company executive said, adding that the popular online tool “is now removing another barrier to make it possible for people to communicate irrespective of what language they speak.”
Skype users who sign-in using Skype on a new sign-up page will be able to test the service on Windows 8.1 products. For now it will work with Spanish and English audio user on the other end.
Furthermore the firm claims to text translations for more than 40 languages over Skype instant message. Skype says it already tested the service between a school in the U.S. and another in Mexico City, allowing students to chat and speak in real-time with Skype Translator. The tool relies on machine learning, so the more it’s used, the more perfect it gets.
The Skype translator shows the text at the bottom of the screen in both the languages. The length of time it takes to translate is totally dependent on the length of the sentence or phrase. Microsoft said that the feature is a result of collaboration between Skype, Bing, and Microsoft’s Research Lab.
Microsoft said “This is just the beginning of a journey that will transform the way we communicate with people around the world. Our long-term goal for speech translation is to translate as many languages as possible on as many platforms as possible and deliver the best Skype Translator experience on each individual platform for our more than 300 million connected users.”