If you are a frequent traveler and likes to go to different places, then you already know how annoying it could get, when you can’t follow the instruction as it is in some foreign language. This happens all the time right? Be it an airport, any public place, tourist attraction, this is the case everywhere. Yes, most of them do make an announcement in English, but not all of them. And you will often find yourself in deep trouble when it happens. But it looks like we have a solution for that now, almost.
Panasonic Corp. has a megaphone that will translate the user’s voices into multiple languages. It is called The Megahonyaku and it listens for Japanese input and plays back phrases in English, Chinese and Korean. According to the reports, the company came up with this to cope with an increase in foreign visitors in Japan. Although it does not have full-fledged support with the languages, but it is good at what it does as of now.
As of now, Panasonic has only loaded it with around 300 set phrases, but they say that you can connect it to the internet and get more anytime. But for now, these 300 phrases should be just enough to get the work done, since it has all the necessary phrases to give information like raise caution and give information. And as you would expect, it has the phrases like The train has been delayed” or “Watch your step.” Getting it to work is also not that big of a deal as it is very simple.
All you have to do is just speak to the megaphone and voila! When a user speaks into the megaphone, it recognizes instantly and at the same moment it also translates it. The translated sentence/phrase is then played out in English, Chinese, and Korean through the speaker. Sounds extremely handy and useful right? Yes, it is. This will definitely help out a lot of people who travel to Japan and don’t know the language. We expect this is being launched in other places as well with more support in the future.
Panasonic is targeting corporate customers with a goal of getting about 10,000 unit contracts or so in the fiscal year 2018. This should be accomplished given the useful functionality of the device. Panasonic also says that the device is easy to use in times of emergency and its voice recognition can function regardless of background noise. And not to forget the fact that users can connect it to the internet and get more phrases and software updates by connecting it to the internet.
And as far as the availability of the device go, the company is planning to start offering the megaphone o December 20 for less than ¥20,000 which roughly translates to about $183 a month for a three-year contract basis. This will also include future updates and maintenance, however, the company is not looking to sell the device alone. Considering the fact that over 30 organizations have already started using this translation service on a trial basis, this would be well recieved.