iPods used as Arabic Translators

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You know, every time I can combine my love of Apple and my love of Star Trek, I’m a happy man (So you can imagine how much I love using the speaker on my iPhone to talk to people). Anyway, this article from Macenstein points us toward the Vcommunicator Mobile by Vcom3D.

The device is a hardware/software combination that works to transform your iPod into a universal translator…or close to it anyway. It is described as a “a tactical language and cultural knowledge mission aid” – because it isn’t just a text translator. It will actually speak phrases for you, and show you 3d animation of gestures that are appropriate to use with those phrases, in hopes that it will ease the communication between soldiers and Arabic speaking citizens.

There are built-in scenarios to help you navigate, such as “Vehicle Checkpoint”. Select that, and you are presented with a list of phrases such as “Open the Door”, “We need to check your vehicle”, and “Peace be Upon You” for example.

To me, it’s a facinating use of the iPod. The current software is for Video iPods, but there is an updated version coming soon for the new iPod nanos. Despite their smaller screens, it is expected that they will hold up much better than their hard drive based counterparts.

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