GoogleIt’s not just the computers on Star Trek that Google wants to build for real. The company is also working on a device similar to the show’s universal translator — a mythical device on the show that lets everybody speak any language and still be perfectly understood. Hugo Barra, Google’s vice president of Android product management, revealed to The Times of London that Google was working on building real-time translation into Android phones. This would mean a person could speak a sentence of phrase into their phone and the person on the other side of the call would hear the words in his native tongue. Such real-time verbal translation has been a staple of science fiction for decades, seen in Star Trek, Doctor Who and, most memorably, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy through the Babel Fish: a tiny fish that anyone can slip in his ear and will absorb speech from its rear fins and project the translation from its mouth.

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