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Language Translation in Your Hand

Techstination feature for Thursday, February 7, 2002

Language translation in the palm of your hand. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The idea sounds pretty cool... .speak into a handheld device... .and have it translate and speak what you say into a different language. A company called Ectaco has taken the first steps towards making that a reality... .with the Universal Translator 103...

"How much is the ticket?.... It instantly translates the phrase."

Ectaco CEO David Lubinitsky.

"The device has about thirty five hundred phrases. These thirty five hundred phrases covers 85 percent of the communication requirements abroad.

Translating to and from English, Spanish, French and German. It sells for about two hundred fifty dollars. Besides the consumer product, Lubinitsky says the company, which has its development facilities in Russia, is making specialized translation tools. For instance...

"We have a lot of requests from the different police departments... from NYPD, from Florida police, from LAPD... we closely work with them and we have a demo of a police translator."

The technology is still young, but Ectaco expects to have products on the market by the end of this year that will be able to facilitate two way conversations in different languages. You can find more information at Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.