The Breakthrough

We first heard about Skype’s real-time language translation feature months ago during an impressive demo, and now it’s beginning to ship for Windows users. While the real-time feature is currently only supported for 6 languages, the app will support translation of 50 additional languages via text chat. There is no currently no timeline for the feature to ship to Mac or mobile users.

The Implications
Real-time language translation has been discussed for years, but no service has ever lived up to expectations. Skype has been pumping resources into making this idea a reality, and so far the demonstrations have been very impressive. If enough financial resources are pumped into real-time language translation, it’s not very difficult to imagine a future where language barriers are seemingly non-existent. By leveraging the acccesibility of a smartwatch, real-time language translation can make the transition from digital to in-person communications. 

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