You might have already played around with Google Translate on your phone, but DARPA and NIST are teaming up to take real time translation to the next level. The DARPA project known as TRANSTAC (spoken language communication and TRANSlation system for TACtical use) is in the process of developing machine based translation devices for the military.
Technical details about the technology used in the project are scarce, but the short video demonstration clearly shows the Nexus One in action. Currently, the focus is on Pashto, a native Afghani language, though NIST is also working on Dari and Iraqi Arabic (a few languages that you’re probably not going to find listed in Google Translate). While the concept of using an Android device for translation isn’t new, we’re pretty excited to see that DARPA and NIST are using Android in their lineup for testing devices.