Tag Archives: language

Don’t be lost for (foreign) words with Pocketalk



Us Brits aren’t known for our linguistic abilities shamefully relying on our continental cousins to speak English rather than learning the local lingo. Fortunately, we can now cover our embarrassment by using the Pocketalk Voice Translator, a two-way voice translator that instantly translates between 74 languages.

The winner of the ‘Innovation Award in Mobile Computing’ at IFA 2018, Pocketalk lets you both talk naturally. You say what you want in your language and Pocketalk says the same thing in their language…and they can talk right back at the Pocketalk, which converts their response into your language. Genius!

The Pocketalk is small and compact, with a small screen to show a text version of the conversation. There are three different finishes – gold, black and white – and battery life is around 7 hours in use, with 10 days in sleep mode.

The Pocketalk does need a data connection to work and this can be WiFi, built-in mobile data or a personal hotspot. Of course, it uses “AI” to do the translation but the “Pocketalk Voice Translator with Built-In Data” comes with two years of free mobile data in over 120 countries. There are no monthly subscription fees for the first twenty-four months.

Yes, there are apps that do a similar function, but the Pocketalk is a dedicated device for the task and comes with noise-cancelling microphones, betters speakers and specialised software.

Noriyuki Matsuda, CEO and founder of parent company Sourcenext, said, “The need to connect cultures and make the world feel a little smaller is stronger than ever and that’s exactly our goal with this device. We developed Pocketalk to help people of all backgrounds providing them with an instant open line of communication and foster a mutual understanding and respect among different cultures. When you have the right tools, language is a gateway and not a barrier.

That might be true but when you need directions to the nearest toilet, Pocketalk will do brilliantly.

Pocketalk is available now from Amazon UK and Amazon US for GB£259 and US$299 respectively.


KB Covers Keyboard Overlays



KB Covers offer specialised keyboard covers for Apple Macs and MacBooks. Rather than dust covers, these are keyboard overlays which re-label for foreign languages or show keyboard shortcuts.

KB Cover Keyboard Overlay

A good example for the former is a foreign language student who wishes to use a keyboard with the studied country’s layout and alphabet. Imagine the convenience for students of Arabic or Cyrillic languages. For software packages, the overlays highlight keyboard shortcuts to enhance productivity – it’s much faster to press “alt-f” than it is to use the mouse to select an item from a pull-down menu. All major software is covered – Photoshop, Final Cut, Media Composer, Sibelius, etc.

The overlays are a ultra-thin and made from high quality silicone. There’s a big selection of overlays for different countries and software packages. Prices are in the range $20-$40 and I think they’re great value.

Interview by Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin of SDR News and RV News Net.

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgeek30
$4.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgeek99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgeek1h
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgeek1w
Become a GNC Insider: Support this podcast

With Nuance Acquisition of Swype, Could We See iPhone, iPad’s Siri with Swype Technology?



This morning, Michael Arrington reported that Nuance is going to purchase Swype for over $100 million. This is the technology that lets you slide your finger across the on-screen keyboard to spell out words. It is also known that Nuance works with the new Apple product called “Siri“. Therefore, will we see this technology available for Apple keyboards, soon?

Let’s hope so.

Swype is a technology first discovered at TechCrunch a couple years ago. It was incorporated in some smartphones and found by moving the finger around as opposed to tapping, a person could type words a lot faster. This is the video TechCrunch put out in 2009:

Enter in Siri

Siri is the new technology Apple announced earlier in the week. To read more about that, check out Andrew’s article – Apple’s Siri Delivers on the Sci-Fi Dream.

Siri uses Nuance Technology – even though you might not find someone at Apple or Nuance that will say that. Before Siri was purchased by Apple, it had Nuance as the background software. The company tried Vlingo, but it just didn’t fit Siri’s programming.

So is it safe to say that Nuance is part of Siri? Well, unless Apple was working on their own software to replace Nuance, then yes. If they did change, then we would have heard something of them splitting. Let’s not even get into any patent debate that would have been reported if Apple was developing their own software.

As I always say: The possibility is there, but the probability is pretty low.

Swype on iPhone, iPad

Let’s get back to this idea – I used Swype technology and love it. By moving one finger across the screen keeps my eyes on the keyboard and not switching back and forth to what I am typing. Add in the spellcheck and I could be typing 40-45 words a minute on a mobile device (as opposed to 30 words a minute currently). Swype on iPad would be better, especially since most people use a one-hand type method if they are standing with the device coddled in the other arm.

With a personal dictionary, extensive language support and predictive tap suppot, Swype could be a great added feature to the Apple iPhone. Of course, it would also be a great addition to an Android phone, too (which is available with the FlexT9 Android Application).

So far, this is just a pipe-dream. But if it becomes a reality, the Siri application just got a little bit cooler.