Feeds

Japanese deploy bi-lingual talking PDA

Domo origato, me old china

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

Visitor's to Tokyo's Narita airport can avail themselves of a bi-lingual PDA which translates between English and Japanese.

The "e-Navi" contains 50,000 Japanese and 25,000 English words and is reckoned to be able to cope with slang. Punters just speak into the device, and are given an almost instant translation.

NEC is behind the technology, which uses voice recognition, digital voice translation and a voice synthesiser to deliver the required speech.

Chris Shimizu, NEC's corporate relations manager, says that the system has tackled some of the more slippery problems of voice recognition. For one, it can apparently handle accents. What's more, "it doesn't require a user to pre-register their voice". Shimizu said that the technology would "absolutely ideal" for mobile phones, since it is virtually instantaneous.

Almost inevitably - this being Japan and all - the "e-Navi" translator began life as one component of the Papero - a talking robotic "personal companion". Sadly, the little cyberpal wasn't asked to provide a suitably user-friendly and colloquial English name for itself, since Papero is short for the decidedly non-fluffy "Partner-Type Personal Robot".

It will be interesting to see if the e-Navi really has picked the bugs out of voice recognition, or whether hapless travellers will be wandering around Narita's concourse shouting "my hovercraft is full of eels" at terrified locals. ®

Related Products
Check out the Pocket PC department of The Reg mobile store

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.