NEC brings a a bit closer to Star Trek's Universal Translator with the invention of the TeleScouter glasses. This product features a microphone and camera to pick up the foreign speech, which is relayed to a remote server that provides a translation that is beamed onto the retina. TG Daily reports the text will appear as subtitles, so that the wearer can still see the person they're speaking to. The first fully functional devices are expected in 2011.
The server provides a translation, which is then sent back and beamed onto the retina "using the afterimage effect", says the company. The text appears as subtitles, so that the wearer can still see the person they're speaking to.
NEC says it will launch the device next year. The translation facilities are apparently still fairly rudimentary, so at first it will be marketed as a hands-free data display, to let engineers read manuals and the like. Full translation facilities should come a year later.