Microsoft has just launched a sign up page for its upcoming Skype translation tool that the company hopes will “pave the way for a more personal and more human era of computing” once it becomes widely available.
First announced back in May, Skype Translator does pretty much what it says on the tin – translate speech in real-time during calls made using the popular online communication tool.
As you can see from the English-German demo video below, the software provides the translation in text and speech. However, the off-putting delays and occasional mistranslations mean the software still needs some work, which is where you come in. With your feedback, Skype developers will set about tweaking the tool to bring it up to speed before rolling it out to the masses.
“We have seen tremendous interest and enthusiasm for Skype Translator from around the globe over the last few months and we’re incredibly excited to share it with the world,” Skype’s Yasmin Khan wrote in a blog post announcing the release.
“Language barriers have been a hindrance to productivity and human connection,” Khan said in her post, adding that she hopes Skype Translator will help to transform computing into “a more personal and more human” experience once it is launched.
It’s easy to imagine Skype Translator gaining a degree of popularity, especially with firms engaged in international business where the language skills of personnel are limited. However, they’d have to have absolute confidence in the software’s capabilities, after all, one inadvertently offensive mistranslation and sealing the deal on a big contract could prove problematic.
Interested in trying out the tool at some point? Click here to sign up – but hurry, only a limited number of spots are available.
Update by Konrad Krawczyk 11/6/14 9:35 p.m. ET – This article initially stated that Microsoft was beginning to offer a preview of Skype Translator. The errors have been corrected, and the article was amended to reflect accurate information.