Military-grade translation coming to civilian iPods


Get the hell outta here. Special iPod software that our soldiers use to communicate with Arabic- and Kurdish-speaking people will be made available to regular Joe-Jobbers like you and me soon. That’s quacktastic. Here’s more from Computerworld…

For example, soldiers can show Iraqi citizens a photo of a terrorist, and the iPod says in Arabic, “have you seen this person?”

Another part of the application plays a wide catalog of useful phrases, and a character on the screen shows appropriate hand gestures to go with it.

These phrases are combined into “missions.” For example, soldiers can open the “checkpoint mission,” and all the phrases, images, gestures and other data useful for communicating with drivers at a checkpoint are listed.

The consumer-friendly version of this software is supposed to come out sometime later this year and will apparently contain many different languages and “mission” options for the more mundane, flabby traveler. Like when I was in Spain last October and nobody would tell me where to get something to eat after all the stuff in the hotel had shut down. Instead of throwing a tantrum in the middle of the lobby, I could have simply pointed my iPod at someone and yelled “Cuidado!” or something like that.

Army’s iPod translator to be available for consumers [Computerworld]