In science fiction, characters often turn to a portable universal translator to help bridge the linguistic divide, either among humans or with aliens.
But the concept doesn’t just exist in the imagination of “Star Trek” writers or the pages of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Researchers are actually closing in on the technology and foresee its application in the coming years in a very familiar device: the smart phone.
Imagine walking into a restaurant in Beijing and ordering off the menu and talking with waiters in Chinese. It’s a future that is on the way to becoming a reality.
Read more in the San Fransisco Chronicle