Hospital workers often have their hands full with tasks such as patient care, plus they also often have to communicate with patients who speak other languages. With this in mind, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed what it claims is “the world’s first wearable, hands-free speech translation device.”
Last year, Fujitsu developed a system in which stationary tablets with external microphones could identify different speakers, and translate their spoken language into another. Now, that technology has been shrunk down to a Wi-Fi-connected device that’s worn by the worker, like a name tag.
It has two integrated omnidirectional microphones – one of them faces forward, to pick up the voice of the patient, while another faces up, to pick up the voice of the wearer. Onboard software automatically detects which of the two people is speaking, and a cloud-based server translates their words to synthesized speech in an output language of the user’s choice.