A Wearable Voice to Voice Translation System

Period of Performance: 08/03/1999 - 08/02/2000


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Via, Inc.
11 Bridge Square
Northfield, MN 55057
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Mobile Translator Mission Statement: To develop a near real-time, two-way, mobile, lightweight, robust and low-cost multilingual language translation device that can be operated with minimal training in a hands-free manner. The object of this Phase I research effort is to investigate the scientific, technical and commercial merit and feasibility of the system described in the preceding mission statement. Specifically, the team will investigate design options for the mobile translator, identify potential applications, and select the best option to pursue in making the design a reality. Three technical areas will be investigated; the mobile computer platform, the operator interface, and the language translation software. The commercial feasibility of this design will also be investigated. This includes identifying potential applications, languages to be supported, cost, and user requirements such as acceptable system weight and battery life. By combining both the commercial and technical elements, a complete definition of a successful mobile, near real-time language translation device will be achieved. A prototype system will be developed and demonstrated and a final report written documenting the Phase I results and recommendations for follow-on research and development in Phase II. Options are included for incorporating additional language pairs into the system and application specific terminology. BENEFITS: Applications include all individuals who require multi-lingual capabilities. The mobile translator will benefit a wide range of individuals including military personnel, airport employees, border patrol and customs agents, police, fire fighters, retail clerks, bank tellers, delivery personnel, phone operators, tourists and any industry that sells, develops or manufactures products to/in global markets or employs individuals that do not speak the native language.