Troops have depended on translators in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past decade. The Pentagon's researching arm the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has also offered translation services that allows troops to speak into a device that immediately translates the phrase for the local population.
It is part of the Broad Operation Language Translation program that was intended to allow “real-time interactive translation between two people” in a range of languages with allowances for dialects and idioms, a DARPA representative said.
The BOLT system would be operated by voice and DARPA’s plan was to have a tablet prototype in testing by the end of this year. This would be the first tablet prototype to come out of the program.
The BOLT was among more than 100 projects and 29 advanced research programs on display in the Pentagon’s courtyard Wednesday in what was billed as DARPA Demo Day.
Most of the programs dealt with cyber-security and developing systems designed to attack and eliminate cyber threats as fast as they appear.
“The Information Revolution has been a huge boon to society, but our growing dependence on information networks also means that information is today’s tactical and strategic high ground,” said Dan Kaufman, director of DARPA’s Innovation Office.