'Tower of Babel' lets you pretend you're bilingual

Futuristic device is still in the works.

Go Mach 5!

Is the future finally here? We've started to hear murmurs and rumbles about flying cars. Then there's all that research on the cloak of invisibility . And now, according to a BBC story, automatic translation machines that dub your speech, movie-style, could be next. Over on Digg they're extolling this in-the-works product as a "real Star Trek Universal Translator" (of course), but the scientists who are developing it are using the name "Tower of Babel." It looks like they're still having some accuracy issues, so I doubt you'll be seeing world leaders using these to converse any time soon. Nevertheless, it's still a pretty cool concept.

On the other hand, since you'll be mouthing the words in your own language while the device spits out a translation, the end product could quite likely resemble a poorly-dubbed episode of "Speed Racer" more than anything else.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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