Skype has just launched a new feature that's very impressive indeed - live translation.
That's right, now you can use the software to chat with someone in seven different languages and you can make yourself heard. Think of it as universal communicator (for Star Trek fans) or a Babelfish (for Hitchhikers fans) except it's actually real and works right now.
Voice to Voice translation currently works for Chinese Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Portugeuse and Spanish. And the text version includes 50 written languages. Here's an idea of how the live speech version works - this test was from 2014 so it's much faster now.
It's a nice piece of technology to be able to show off but think about the implications for every part of life and business. Language barriers can be erased, opening up new groups of people that we can converse with effortlessly. It makes the world a smaller and friendlier place, on top of the work that Skype has already done to make it easier to stay in touch with friends and loved ones around the globe.
This tech is only available on the Windows desktop app for skype right now, but Microsoft plans on rolling it out elsewhere soon.