Cisco will add real-time translation to its TelePresence high-definition conference technology next year, enabling people in several different countries to meet virtually and each hear the other participants' comments in their own languages.
The feature is expected to go on sale in the second half of 2009 with an initial set of 20 languages, said Marthin De Beer, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Emerging Technologies Group. It will include speech recognition in the speaker's native language, a translation engine, and text-to-speech technology to deliver the words in a synthesized voice on the other end. Users will also be able to display subtitles if they choose, he said. Both Asian and Western languages will be represented in the initial set, which will later be expanded.
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