The World is About to Get Smaller

The World is About to Get Smaller

As many of you may already know, recently I joined Oracle to help build a new innovation and digital transformation offering that leverages design thinking and other tools to engage prospective North American customers of Oracle in human-centered problem-solving focused on solving their most pressing challenges.

One of the attractions to this particular role was the opportunity to work for the company with the most complete, modern, flexible and secure enterprise cloud. Oracle Cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications provides customers with the speed and innovation of best-of-breed cloud software in a complete, secure, and connected cloud suite. Our startup within the world’s second largest software company can help reimagine your business, processes, and experiences from a distinctly human perspective.

When we’re not working with customers we’ll be constantly scanning the landscape and looking for opportunities to re-imagine different industries. From time to time, we’ll come across interesting things to share, possibly to provoke a conversation.

Real-time translation is one technology getting closer every year to being ready for widespread adoption. One of the more intriguing recent implementations of real-time translation that moves us closer to the Babel fish holy grail is Google’s Pixel Buds from late 2017.

First let’s look at this video that evaluates how well Google Pixel Buds do real-time translation:

And now let’s look at a real world application test video from Air New Zealand that dives into how the airline might use them in practice along with their ability to handle something like 40 languages:

But Google is not standing still as evidenced by this article and the video below that shows the Google Assistant Interpreter Mode launched earlier this year. Now it is only 27 languages not 40, but it’s a start:

Here’s a full list of languages supported:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Slovak
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese

The technology is supposed to be integrated into all Google Assistant enabled headphones in the future, but I’m not sure whether that has happened yet or not.

The Interpreter Mode seems to only work on Google Home and some other Google smart devices, but not on phones. You can install the Google Translate application on your Android phone and do some translation, but the experience is not as seamless. You can download Google Translate from the Google Play store.

So, what do you think? Does this technology have value now? How much more time do you think they need to make the technology even better?

Is there a role for technology like this in your business?

Parting Shot

So, if you work for a large company in North America and you’re interested in re-imagining your business, exploring the possibilities of accelerating to the speed of the cloud, or tackling a wicked challenge with our team (on a COMPLIMENTARY basis to select companies), please contact me.

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