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Translate Spoken Foreign Languages In Real-Time With These DIY Augmented Reality Glasses

Will Powell’s turning science fiction into science fact.
July 25, 2012, 12:21pm

If you’ve ever read The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy you’ll be familiar with the Babel fish, a fish that sits in your ear and acts as a universal translator. Before you get your hopes up, we’re not getting any closer to discovering such an animal, but there is this project from Will Powell, who you may remember as the guy who created a DIY version of AR glasses a week after Google announced their intention to make some.

Not content to rest on his laurels, he’s gone on to make a new iteration of his very own Project Glass, this time with added translation functionality with subtitles that translate from Spanish to English. In the video above, he has a conversation with his sister, Elizabeth, who’s speaking in Spanish. A non-Spanish speaker, Powell is able to get a real-time translation of what his sister is saying and then reply in English. Pretty impressive stuff.

Powell used the following tech ingredients to bring this science fiction into reality: Raspberry Pi times two running Debian Squeeze, Vuzix 1200 star, jawbone mic, headset mic, TV, iPhone, iPad, and a transformer (although not one that’s a robot in disguise). Google should definitely hit him up to make some apps for their glasses.