Over the decade, we have seen how Google Translate has evolved for the sole purpose of breaking language barrier across culture, countries and its people. So far, Google translate has phenomenally served the purpose of language translator and brought several multi languages speaking culture closer than ever before. In a major Google event in San Francisco on October 4, 2017, Google unveiled the Google Pixel Earbuds, a groundbreaking success making Google Translate even more human when it comes to language translation.
At the very beginning of 2017, Google CEO Sundar Pichai indicated a possible breakthrough in Google Translate capabilities.
“We have improved our translation ability more in one single year than all our improvements over the last ten years combined.”
However, with the launch of Google Pixel ear buds, Google Translate has got a new dimension altogether. Now people will be able to translate 40 languages on the fly. Google has given us a tremendous return gift in the year when it celebrated its 19th Birthday.
Google Pixel earbuds have made Google Translate even smarter
The Google Pixel earbuds is a wireless headphone which is made on the lines of Apple AirPods. Although it may not be a power-packed wireless headphone as Apple Airpods, which has features like wireless charging, etc.
But its real-time language translation makes it unique in the league of similar earphones in the market.
As of now, Google Pixel earbuds will only work with company’s new Pixel 2 smartphone. The Pixel 2 smartphone can quickly detect and pair Google Pixel earbuds lying in the proximity.
You can right away give commands by tapping the right earpiece. It can do a variety of task from playing music, making a call, messing someone, etc.
I already mentioned that Google Pixel headphone supports 40 languages. So, the moment you tap the right earbud and ask “Help me speak Spanish” and start speaking in English, your Pixel 2 smartphone speakers will output the Spanish translated sentences, loud and clear.
In a way, you will be carrying your language interpreter virtual assistant.
Even the Google onstage illustration of Pixel buds showed zero lag time during the real-time translation. However, the real test could be only carried out in a real-life scenario with background noise.
Last year, Google launched Google Assistant with AI (Artificial Intelligence) capability. Google Assistant already came with inbuilt Google Translate feature. Now Google made available the same translation feature by integrating Google Assistant with Google Pixel earbuds.
You may like to read: How to disable Google Assistant
It would not be wrong to say that Google knows their path of futuristic technological innovation. Google Translate is just the best example to exhibit Google’s vision.
The Pixel buds will be available in November 2017 at a price point of $159. But you may also require Pixel 2 smartphone, which will be available in October 2017 at a starting price of $649.
Personally, I feel the whole deal a little heavy on the budget, but if it opens up to other Android smartphones, at least the ones which run on Android Nougat, then it would be a great buy.
Google Translate is nothing new to start with
If you are a loyal Android user, then you must be knowing that Google has been working hard on Google Translate feature from long. There is a history of over a decade as Google launched Google Translate on April 26, 2006.
In the year 2006, Google Translate was in its infancy and supported only a two languages.
Initially, Google Translation was dependent on SYSTRAN software. SYSTRAN is a software engine which is still used by several other online translation services such as Babel Fish. But since October 2007, Google started using its in-house technology called SMT (Statistical machine translation).
SMT technology does not enable Google Translate to translate directly from one language to another language. Instead, Google Translate translated first to the English language, and then it translated to final desired language.
The whole translation was mostly piece by piece translation, and sometimes it did not work naturally. The complete Google translation looked for patterns in millions of documents for the best translation. Google Translate made intelligent guesses for appropriate translations.
Later in September 2016, Google came up with Google Neural Machine Translation system (GNMT). This technology was more robust and purely based on AI and can translate the complete sentence or the paragraph in one go.
Google Assistant was launched with the same technology which created a human-like experience while translating bigger sentences.
Google Pixel earbuds capitalised on what others could not
Even in late 90’s, there was a technology like Babel Fish (website) which carried out language translation. But it was an amateur technology, which could not match the fluency and accuracy of human translators.
Google started its language translation journey with Babel Fish but within few months switched to its in-house SMT technology.
In between several companies laid out their hand in the development of various software and technologies to triumph in translational space but barely made any significant growth.
Last few years has been remarkable in the development of language translation based software which showed substantial improvement in virtual language translation assistant.
Microsoft launched Skype with language translation capability in the year 2015. It supports four spoken languages and around fifty languages on IM. But there was a lag in real-time language translation.
Later, In the year 2016, Microsoft launched a powerful add-in for PowerPoint called “Presentation Translator”. Android and iOS platform had app-enabled Presentation Translator to convert voice into Chinese and Spanish. But it also fell short of the standard usability of a language translator.
There are another bunch of companies, Waverly Labs, Travis, etc., who are in the process of building a robust technology which can bring machine learning and AI together on the same platform.
But till date, they are in the process of completing their crowdfunding process and may come up with the consumer version of their product shortly.
But with the launch of Google Pixel earbuds, it is evident that Google kept on building application one after another with continuous improvement.
Any loyal Android must have used Google Now, Google App and now Google Assistant. All these apps are built on its previous version. Although, Google Assistant is entirely different as it works on AI.
But this time Google went ahead and developed a promising hardware tech device to deliver a more human-like virtual language translator.
Google Pixel earbuds might be sufficient with 40 languages support
The moment you step out your culture or you cross your geographical boundary, communication and interaction pose a real challenge. Even if you are bilingual, it’s not enough. Google Translate supports over 103 languages whereas Google Pixel earbuds support 40 languages.
But is it enough?
In reality, no number is enough since there are close to 7099 different languages which are spoken in 196 countries. But Interestingly, only 23 languages rule over 4.1 billion people across the planet earth. So, there could be a balanced number which may help a larger mass to comprehend and convey the message with each other.
Google Translate is going to revolutionise the future
From decades, we have been watching and reading science fictions where an alien has the know-how of speaking and understanding any language. The launch of Google Pixel earbuds has shown us a promising future where that fantasy may become a reality.
Google has spread its Google translate feature from a software application to hardware.
Google Pixel headphone is a beautiful piece of technology, especially for people looking for language translation assistance. Now even a native English speaker can roam around freely in Italy and can order a ‘thin crust hand-made pizza with an extra cheese’ with swag.