Most eyewear improves vision or cuts through solar glare, but a new gadget from Japan may soon sharpen linguistic skills and cut down language barriers instead, inventors said Thursday.

High-tech company NEC has come up with a device that it says will allow users to communicate with people of different languages.

Shaped like a pair of eye-glasses, but without the lenses, the computer-assisted Tele Scouter would use an imaging device to project almost real-time translations directly onto the user's retina.

The text -- provided instantly through voice recognition and translation programmes -- would effectively provide movie-like 'subtitles' during a conversation between two people wearing the glasses.

"You can keep the conversation flowing," NEC market development official Takayuki Omino told reporters at a Tokyo exposition where the device was on display.

"This could also be used for talks involving confidential information," negating the need for a human translator, said Omino.

Each user's spoken words would be picked up by a microphone, translated, and be instantly available for the counterpart in both visual text and as audio delivered through headphones.

Users can still see their conversation partner's face because the text is projected onto only part of the retina -- the first time such technology is used in a commercial product, according to NEC.

The company plans to launch the Tele Scouter in Japan in November next year, although initially without the translation mode

大部分眼镜都是用来改善视力或抵御强光,但据本周四的相关消息,日本发明的一种新型眼镜可以迅速提升语言能力并消除语言障碍。

据发明这款眼镜的日本高科技公司NEC(日本电气公司)称,这款眼镜可以让使用者与说不同语言的人进行交流。

这款需在计算机的辅助下工作的“Tele Scouter”外形像一幅眼镜,但没有镜片,需使用一种成像设备,将几乎是实时翻译出来的文字投射到使用者的视网膜(显示屏)上。

翻译文字在经过声音识别和翻译软件的处理后会立刻生成,并能像电影“字幕”一样及时有效地呈现给正在交谈的两个人。

NEC市场研发部高管小美野孝之在展出该眼镜的东京展览会上告诉记者说:“(使用这款眼镜后,)会让整个谈话保持流畅。”

小美野说:“这一设备还可用于涉及机密信息的谈话,”就不需要人工翻译了。

在使用这款智能眼镜时,使用者的谈话内容会被一个麦克风收录,翻译后能以可视文本的形式或通过耳机以声音的形式即时传送给对方。

据NEC称,使用者在谈话过程中仍可以看着对方,因为文本只投射到一部分视网膜上,这也是这一技术首次应用于商用产品。

该公司计划于明年十一月将Tele Scouter投放市场,不过最初的产品将不具备翻译功能。


日本发明“翻译眼镜”: http://insuns.com/article/19113-1.html