Ectaco SpeechGuard is a handheld interpreting device based on something used by the US military. PCWorld’s Digital Duo demonstrate it and ridicule it in a video clip. (The clip starts with an ad. Scroll down to ‘Speaking in Tongues’ if you don’t get the video first time.
If you go to the Ectaco site, there is a lot more information and there are special models, such as the Attorney SpeechGuard.
* Thousands of instructions and questions on the following topics: Appointments, Definitions, Basic Interview, Fees, Sentencing, Motor Vehicle Interview, and Criminal Interview
* English speech recognition that recognizes 700 different speech patterns and can learn and adapt to anyone’s voice.
* Search for single words or whole phrases.
* Easily operate your unit with a touch-screen or navigational buttons day or night!
* Access your most frequently used commands and phrases conveniently in My SpeechGuard.
And there is a Law Enforcement SpeechGuard:
# Have you ever pulled someone over for speeding who didn’t understand why because you don’t speak their language?
# Have you ever tried to get answers quickly to help resolve a situation and needed participation fast? Has that ever complicated the cooperation with non-English speaking civilians wanting to help you?
# Do some non-English speaking residents feel like you are not really trying to help them?
# Are you often misunderstood in ethnically diverse communities because of language barriers?
# Have you ever been frustrated waiting for a translator to arrive and assist?
bq. If you answered YES to any of these questions, SpeechGuard PD-4 can turn those answers into NO.
I’m trying to picture the SpeechGuard in one of those uncomfortable situations where a car is stopped and you wonder if someone’s going to shoot (seen too many American films).
(Thanks to Chris Durban, whose Onionskin column appears in the ITI Bulletin and the ATA Chronicle, who posted this on www.flefo.org.