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Will Skype Enable Real Time Communications with Language Translation Feature?

May 30, 2014

One of the key barriers to international communications is language. Opportunities exist for collaboration throughout the world, as long you are fluent in multiple languages or have a variety of interpreters at your disposal. When this isn’t ideal, you have to let certain opportunities slide away. How would that change if you could have real time communications without these barriers?

Microsoft is working on a solution for Skype that will do just that – eliminate the language barrier in real time communications. The software giant is currently focused on the development of a language translation feature that when communicating on Skype, it will automatically translate your language into the preferred language of the person on the other end of the call. What’s even more promising about this development is that the translation will happen in real time.

The Skype Translator was recently put to the test, demonstrating how it could turn English into German and vice versa. If the translator works as promised and Skype is used as the common communication platform, this innovation could eliminate language barriers that hinder projects or stall agreements. While Microsoft hasn’t yet shared the list on intended languages, English and German are expected to be among the top.

The tie-in opportunities to real time communications are significant with this Star Trek-like development. Developers are focused on promoting the use of WebRTC to streamline collaboration throughout multiple platforms. This focus, if it becomes mainstream, would eliminate the need for common platforms and plugins for individuals to connect and collaborate in real time. But if Skype becomes the go-to platform for communicating in real time, would that present too much competition for WebRTC from an already accepted platform?

Using Skype within WebRTC kind of goes against the grain as Skype users do have to download and use a common platform. Instead of supporting the real time focus behind WebRTC, it could actually present a bigger challenge than anticipated. Will that push WebRTC developers to focus on their own language app for development?

Regardless how these two technologies pan out, the reality is that the ability to eliminate communication barriers has been too long in coming. Real time communications can finally, truly eliminate the location gap and enable professionals everyone to explore the opportunities and make the connections that were in the past out of reach. In doing so, they can easily change the competitive outlook and drive new revenue streams by simply talking to the right people at the right time and in the right language. When you can do that with one platform, opportunities quickly expand. 

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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