Panasonic(pcrfy) has announced that it will releasing a megaphone with the built-in ability to instantly translate Japanese into English, Chinese, and Korean.
According to the Japan Times, when users speak into the microphone, their speech is automatically translated and played out into the three aforementioned languages.
The company hopes the product will be used in stations, airports, and tourist destinations, as well as by law enforcement. The company has a goal of obtaining contracts for 10,000 units in fiscal year 2018.
The product, reportedly developed as a response to an increasing number of foreign visitors to Japan, also has around 300 presets phrases, including “watch your step” and “the train has been delayed.”
The Japan Times also reports that new phrases can be added via software updates by connecting to the internet.
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Panasonic will offer the device on a subscription basis for around $183 a month, for a three-year contract, and will provide users with maintenance and service updates.
The multilingual megaphone is already being trialed by several organizations in Japan, from transport companies to police.