Windows giant Microsoft, which owns the popular VoIP platform Skype, on Monday announced it’s started taking sign-ups for an early preview of Skype Translator, an awesome real-time voice translation feature coming to Skype that was shown off at Recode’s Code Conference back in May 2014.
After registering your interest for an early preview, you’ll be able to use the awesome real-time speech translator later this year. There’s a limited number of preview spots available, so best thing you register today.
— Skype (@Skype) November 3, 2014
Keep in mind that the Skype Translator Preview will support a few languages at first and will initially be on devices running Windows 8.1 computers and tablets and Windows 10 Technical Preview only.
Skype Translator borrows heavily from decades of research in speech-recognition, automatic-translation and machine-learning technologies.
So, what kind of dark magic is this?
A collaborative project between Skype and the Microsoft Translator team within Microsoft Research, Skype Translator basically allows anyone to “speak” foreign language without learning one.
The process is as simple as setting up a Skype video or voice call with someone who speaks another language. From that point onward, anything you say over Skype will be translated into their language in real time, and vice versa.
An on-screen transcript of your call is displayed. The cloud-based service can also translate your instant message chats in 45 languages.
Microsoft Research has more on the science behind Skype Translator.