updated 03:20 pm EST, Wed November 9, 2011
NTT DoCoMo begins live translation service test
The largest Japanese mobile carrier, NTT DoCoMo, has just shown a Japanese-to-English, two-way translation service that will work on its phones. The unique service works fairly quickly, with a voice speaking the translation back to the user. The carrier said it can be used not only during phone conversations but also personal ones.
Like Google Translate or Siri, the processing is done in the cloud, and the carrier claims the speech recognition accuracy is at about 90 percent for Japanese and 80 percent for English. When the service was first shown in May, it would only recognize about 15 to 20 percent of speech. Support for more languages is said to be coming soon. Video demonstrations are embedded below, though they are mainly in Japanese.
A field test comprised of 400 users has now started and will go until March. Its success will allow DoCoMo to offer it to its 56 million subscribers during the second half of the year. [via TechCrunch]