The phone as multi-lingual city guide
October 30th, 2005

Techworld reports “Chinese services company Capinfo has made a Motorola flip-phone speak Chinese for visitors to the 2008 Beijing Olympics”.Capinfo chairman Chen Xinxiang says ‘this is the first wireless multi-lingual city guide for any Olympics.”Further,”the handset will carry guidebook data,including text,images and videos about historic sites,as well as directions to those sites and other useful locations like restaurants and hotels.The guide also includes a phrase book,showing phrases in English and Manadarin,which can be read out by the phone using a text-to-speech converter.In Dr Chen’s example, a visitor can get a taxi ride or order a meal by picking phrases from the book and holding the phone up for the taxi driver or waiter to listen to.If the conversation gets beyond the scope of the phrase book, the user can press a button to talk to a call centre in his or her own language (registered when the phone was hired), and get specific phrases translated. “GPRS and call centres are mature technologies,” said Dr Chen. “We plan to use Wi-Fi and 3G, and have location technology in future versions of the system.”

Olympic visitors to get Chinese-speaking phone

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