Microsoft shows off new tech: real-time translation and social networking 'Spindex'
Microsoft is having a busy week at the Web 2.0 Expo and TechFest, showing off new UIs, developing technology and things we can hopefully look forward to actually using one day (Microsoft has a reputation of not delivering on some cool stuff, if you recall).
Of interest to mobile users is two fold. First is the ability for live language translation via some new software. The program combines speech recognition, machine translation, and text-to-speech technology into one package, allowing two users speaking different languages to converse in real-time. While occasionally making an error or two, overall the program does a pretty knock up job of acting like a real translator. Watch the video demo from CNet here.
While no time-frame or release schedule was mentioned, it looks to be integrated into Microsoft's Office Communicator, of which there is a mobile version. So hopefully we'll see some of this trickle into our WP7 devices sometime in the future.
The second venture by Microsoft is once again into social networking, but luckily for us they are not "inventing" another new service but rather a smart aggregator. Called 'Spindex' it will take in all your feeds from Facebook, Twitter, etc. and consolidate said streams into an easier read and used service. More interestingly, it does personalized "trending topics" and automatically prefetches articles related to said topics via Bing. It even takes advantage of the popular 'EverNote' (see review here):
Make sense of your social overload, open your personalized Spindex page, and find out at a glance what topics are hot in your social world. You can also keep track of the things you are remembering via Evernote--right inside of your Spindex page. Spindex is not just a social reader--as you browse your friends' updates, Spindex continually suggests related content from Bing--giving you better insight into the topics and trends spinning around you.
Of course between Kin and Windows Phone 7, you can already see some of this social networking consolidation/ease of access in action. No doubt we'll see more of this as Spindex rolls out and works its way onto our devices.