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Browse Prior Art Database

Portable Translator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114096D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 189K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Baez, D: AUTHOR [+6]

Abstract

Disclosed is a speech-driven portable translator in the form of a small, preferably hand-held device with a microphone, speaker and small display. When activated, the computer displays a list of topics, such as shopping, ordering at a restaurant, traveling by plane, getting around town, emergency-related requests, and common phrases. After the user selects a category from these topics, he is presented with a list of the most common phrases or questions asked in that category. At this point, the user may say, for example, "How do I get to the train station?" The speech-driven translator then provides both a video display and a pre-recorded audio version of the chosen phrase in the target language.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 35% of the total text.

Portable Translator

      Disclosed is a speech-driven portable translator in the form of
a small, preferably hand-held device with a microphone, speaker and
small display.  When activated, the computer displays a list of
topics, such as shopping, ordering at a restaurant, traveling by
plane, getting around town, emergency-related requests, and common
phrases.  After the user selects a category from these topics, he is
presented with a list of the most common phrases or questions asked
in that category.  At this point, the user may say, for example, "How
do I get to the train station?"  The speech-driven translator then
provides both a video display and a pre-recorded audio version of the
chosen phrase in the target language.

      Fig. 1 is a plan view of a hand-held translator 10, which
includes a display screen 12, a speaker 14, a microphone 16, an
"On/Off" button 18, a "Push to Translate/Listen" button 20, an
"Enter/Repeat" button 22, and optional scroll buttons 24.

      Fig. 2 is an end elevational view of the hand-held translator
10 of Fig. 1, showing particularly a card insertion slot 26 built in
accordance with the specifications of the Personal Computer Memory
Card International Association (PCMCIA) for the attachment of an
electronic card.

      The hand-held translator 10 organizes questions by topic,
displaying the questions or phrases that can currently be displayed
on a screen 12, while allowing the user to define quickly the context
that is likely to contain the question or phrase he wishes to have
translated.  This type of organization is also used in small phrase
books.  The portable translator accepts speaker-independent,
continuous-speech phrases, sentences, or questions, performing
high-speed context switching between topics and screens.  Problems of
text-to-speech quality are avoided, as pre-recorded compressed sound
bytes are played back in any language.

      Fig. 3 is a block diagram of a portable translator.  This type
of functionality may be achieved through the use of hand-held
translator 10, a general-purpose PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), a
laptop computer, or a system in a kiosk.

      Fig. 4 is a block diagram of the sequential presentation of
screens by a preferred version of a portable translator.  The main
menu lists all of the most used categories, immediately taking users
to the most-used phrases within each category and giving the user the
option to see additional phrases.  A fast-path option exists.  For
example, the user can say, "Ordering in restaurants, Mexican menu
items," and see the Mexican item sub-menu.  Alternately, the user can
say, "Ordering in restaurants, Mexican menu items, do you have
sausage?" and go immediately to the translation.

      Preferably, a high-quality numeric recognition system is
included to allow the translation of amounts.  The user can provide
audio inputs to get currency translations.  For example, if in the
morning the...