Another step towards the Babel Fish; gadget scans, understands, and speaks any text

hpvoiscan.JPGLooks like HP is getting together with South Korean company Mouscan (Mouscan?) to move us one step closer to that universal translator that’s in every sci-fi story since that sci-fi part of the bible. They call it the Voiscan. HP is contributing the ability to put together a single document by waving a camera over it, and Mouscan is bringing its optical character recognition skillz to the table. The idea is that you’d wave the Voiscan over a menu, sign, whatever, and it would piece together the words, translate them on the fly, and speak it aloud. Given the quality of machine translations, I’m not too optimistic about translating anything too complex, but for figuring out whether that Greek phrase means “garnished with pine nuts” or “garnished with squirrel feet,” it should be invaluable.

HP work enables text-to-voice scan [SFGate, via The Raw Feed]