In the Star Trek world of the future we’re able to communicate with alien life though the use of a Universal Translator that holds a database of all known languages and dialects and immediately translates both sides of a spoken conversation. It’s a pretty impressive concept.
We don’t live in the future, we live in the now. In the now we have the Google Translate app, which got a very cool update today: Conversation Mode.
Conversation Mode is an experimental feature that essentially lets two people who speak different languages communicate with one another using speech-to-text, text-translation, and text-to-speech. It’s all rather complex, but oh so very cool!
Spanish and English are the only languages supported right now, so “universal” it is not. Additionally, speech recognition isn’t perfect, but it’s better than not being able to communicate at all — and is getting better every day!