Speech to speech translation by a machine

StarTrek's concept of the universal communicator may not be so far away. According to Business2.0, the US military is apparently going to field test a speech to speech translation device worn in the ear. ViA, the company manufacturing the device plans to release commercial versions for $5,000 to $10,000. The special device, called Diplomat, is being developed with Carnegie Mellon. Jaime Carbonnell, director of Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute, believes that, "In specific, simple situations today's wearable translators may prove helpful, but fluent, free-ranging translation similar to what humans can provide each other will still take an additional 10 to 20 years to develop. "We have come very far, but unfortunately the general use of speech-to-speech [portable] translators is not there yet."