All Nippon Airways (ANA) has introduced an interactive translating device called Pocketalk to 50 airports in Japan.
Produced by software company Sourcenext, the Japanese carrier said the hand-held device aims to help ANA’s ground staff and international passengers communicate better.
Pocketalk is a portable real-time language translator that can translate up to 74 languages including various dialects and commonly used idiomatic phrases, according to ANA. Out of the 74 languages, 55 languages are translated into speech and text, while the other 19 languages are translated into just text.
ANA’s ground staff will use the voice-translating device, which requires an internet connection, to communicate with passengers. A microphone will process what a passenger is saying and translate it into Japanese for the staff member. Two languages have to be selected on the device’s home screen and a button has to be pressed the entire time someone is speaking into the microphone.
“By using this device, ANA staff will be better equipped to communicate with passengers in situations where a linguistic barrier may have previously existed,” reads a press release from ANA.
The first Pocketalk device is now being featured at the lobby and boarding gates of Osaka International Itami Airport starting today (December 18), and a total of 200 devices will be featured across 50 domestic Japanese airports.