Google developing hosted translation, video tools

Company hopes to let users add features to collaboration tools like e-mail, instant messaging

Google is developing applications for instant language translation and video tools that it hopes to add to its hosted services offerings, a company executive disclosed.

In a recent interview with Computerworld, Matt Glotzbach, Google's director of product management for Enterprise, said researchers at the firm are working on technology that would enable rapid electronic language translation. The tool would pool data from Google's massive content repository to help translate languages in real-time for users of its instant messaging and email offerings, he said.

Additionally, he said the search provider is also looking to develop interactive video tools to augment internal training programs and to serve as a hosted alternative to pricey video-conferencing software.

Glotzbach would not say when the company expects to complete development of the new offerings. However, he said confirm that both will be part of the hosted Google Apps portfolio at some point. Earlier this month, analysts said Google's fledgling suite of hosted software lacks features needed by corporate customers.

The language translation tool, explained Glotzbach, would simulate machine translation software already developed by Google.

He noted that most machine-generated translation available today requires human editing to correct linguistic flaws as context ambiguities are often littered throughout conversation and written text. Google's considerable processing power and ability to draw data from multiple Internet access points could minimize linguistic editing requirements and generate rapid translation, Glotzbach contended.

"What you need for real-time automated machine translation is large amounts of compute power, which we have, and large amounts of data, which we have," said Glotzbach. "Imagine a system that can do on-the-fly translation of things like email, documents and IM chat. That's a feature of [Google Apps] you can see on the horizon."

Rebecca Wettemann, vice-president of research for Nucleus Research, said Google will likely face problems convincing users that the upcoming hosted service is better than language translation software they use now.

"There are a lot of translation tools out there," she said. "The challenge for Google is how do you build a better mousetrap? How do you leverage what's already been done with translation and do it better?"

Google, Wettemann noted, needs to further upgrade its text mining and search categorization abilities to significantly improve on already available language translation efforts.

Glotzbach said that the popularity of YouTube prompted many users to ask Google officials about whether it plans to offer hosted video business tools. Google will initially focus its tools on collaboration and video conferencing applications, he said.

Westman said she expects that Google will develop a tool for integrating video into today's widely-used collaboration technologies such as email, IM, and discussion threads. "I suspect that's where we'll see Google taking things," she remarked.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brian Fonseca

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?