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Microsoft breaks language barrier with Skype demo

18 Jul 2014

Even those with the remotest interest in football, or indeed the world around them - didn’t know what was coming.

Dressed in the white of the recently crowned World Cup champions, Melanie, friend of Microsoft storyteller Steve Clayton, addressed 16,000 WPC 2014 attendees.

Via a Skype link, the native German embarked on a demonstration which will live long in the memory, a demonstration which smashed the brick wall of language and introduced the world to a whole new level of communication.

In a few simple exchanges, between Clayton in English and Melanie in German, the Skype Translator app threatens to quite literally change the world we live in and how we interact with one another.

While Americanised to some degree of course, the underlying message was clear across all mother tongues - Microsoft has the ability to successfully translate voice messages across Skype.

Despite a few slight hiccups, the short conversation mesmerised a tech audience used to predictable corporate spiel and uninspiring industry buzzwords.

But this was different. Not only was it somewhat surreal to witness live, but more importantly was catching a glimpse of 16,000 minds racing through thoughts of how this app could impact both their personal and professional lives.

“We want to take technology like that, in fact, this Skype Translate itself we hope to be in preview by the end of the year,” claimed Nadella.

“But it's the kind of work that we get to do when we obsess about how we can change individual lives and organisations.

“Because think about Skype Translate applied to customer service. Think about Skype Translate applied in so many other contexts where human communication can be fundamentally transformed.”

Designed to provide partners with a feel for what Microsoft can do for its customers, the Vision Keynote was certainly saving the best demo until last.

But as the jaws of attendees dropped to the floors of the arena, the barrier of language started to fall around them and that could prove leben ändern...

Check out the demo below:

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