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Sharp's portable voice translator talks back at CEATEC

Darren Murph

For those hopeless Americans (and Brits) who've found themselves perusing the spectacular isles of CEATEC without a clue of what's being said, Sharp is coming to the rescue. Unless you've had access to babelfish-enabled posters giving the decrypted skinny on all the new gear, you may get the feeling that your communication skills aren't exactly up to speed. Sharp's currently unnamed voice-to-voice translator allows for speech recognition and convenient audio translation so you can actually hear what you're supposed to say. The device sports a PDA-like enclosure, monochrome touchscreen, "music playback" functionality, "90 percent" accuracy (read: good enough to order food and a discounted Xbox 360), and a built-in robotic vocalist that belts out phrases in whatever language you command. The LCD also shows you sentences in both native and foreign tongue, but the prototype on display apparently only converts Japanese and English. While we aren't certain if this gizmo will hit shelves after its stint at CEATEC, it would sure make Ken Kutaragi's mind numbing keynotes a bit easier to understand in the future.

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