Catching up on reading part 2: Read about this innovation in the paper last week and am intrigued… To address the US military’s critical shortage of translators in Iraq, VCom 3D out of Florida has been contracted to create a suite of tools for our soldiers in Iraq that, using a video iPod, not only provides useful phrases in local dialects, but also information (and samples) of appropriate gestures when speaking with individuals in country.
To quote the press release:
Soldiers can surf the menu, set the language — Iraqi Arabic, Pashtu or Dari, for example — tap the mission and click a phrase. The device displays an animated figure that repeats the phrase in accents and is accompanied by gestures that are specific to the culture.
“This program can mean the difference between life and death for soldiers,” said Ernest Bright, operations director for Vcom3D, the Orlando company that developed the software. “You can’t have a phrase wrong.”
Here are some links:
Oh, and the cost? Sources report it was a $676,000 deal to produce 260 units that were deployed last month with the 10th Mountain Division. Another deal is in the works that could be worth millions of dollars.
Apparently I am in the wrong business (again!)