Skype has been working on a live translator to work within their technology for a while. The technology was finally showcased at Re/Code and was very well received. Now, Microsoft is opening a beta for users to get their own hands on the technology and test if for themselves.
When Microsoft bought Skype, it was an obvious move that the tech giant wanted to acquire a strong brand and ubiquitous technology in the communication space. Now years later, it is still unknown by many, that Microsoft owns Skype due to the fact that the company has continued behaving as they always had under their own brand. Last year when Skype showed off their Translator at Re/Code it was slightly more apparent how Microsoft would leverage their engineering to improve and evolve Skype into new and different products.
People outside either company are close to being able to test the Skype Translator for themselves. With beta signups happening, the product will soon be tested by a select range of users from around the world. The service provides live translation from one language to another, while in live calls. For example, an English speaker could speak in English to a German speaker through the Skype Translator; then Skype would convert the English voice to text, translate the text to German, and finally speak the text to the person on the other side of the call.
It becomes immediately obvious how this technology would be useful in a range of industries and applications. Microsoft is known for their ability to sell products and this seems like a perfect opportunity to turn a profit with Skype. By selling this Skype Translator service to business customers or as a service for consumers, Microsoft can begin to shift the mentality that video conferencing is always free. Luckily for Microsoft, this is a unique tool with little obvious competition. Hopefully it drives more innovation and a better experience for all users of Skype.
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