Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Google Videoconferencing Killer App on the Way?

I'm in deep with Google. Not from a financial investment but from a content publishing and productivity work investment. My blog is Google, my documents are Google, my gmail, videos and search are through Google and it seems all my transactions have some sort of Google effect. It would seem likely that live interactive video would be next combined with translation and language detection.

Kristen Nicole from Mashable noted in her March 26th post, Hosted Google Apps to Get Translations and Video Tools, that, "According to a Computerworld report, Google plans on enabling electronic language translation to be applied to several other hosted Google applications, including email and instant messaging chat. That’s handy for all you global communicators. And if that wasn’t enough, Google also plans to release interactive video tools as a hosted alternative to other videoconferencing services out there. Both the video and the language translation options are set to be part of the hosted Google Apps suite"

The Computerworld report Google developing hosted translation, video tools was written by Brian Fonseca and based on a recent Computerworld interview with Matt Glotzbach, Google's director of product management for Enterprise. Glotzbach said, "researchers at the firm are working on technology that would enable rapid electronic language translation... (Google is) also looking to develop interactive video tools to augment internal training programs and to serve as a hosted alternative to pricey videoconferencing software."

The language and translation application would work in real-time and across the suite of Google Apps. Glotzbach added that, "What you need for real-time automated machine translation is large amounts of compute power, which we have, and large amounts of data, which we have... Imagine a system that can do on-the-fly translation of things like e-mail, documents and IM chat. That's a feature of [Google Apps] you can see on the horizon."

Regarding the introduction of an interactive Google video application, Brian Fonseca noted that, "the popularity of YouTube prompted many users to ask Google officials about whether it plans to offer hosted video business tools. Google will initially focus its tools on collaboration and videoconferencing applications."

"But what about the video?" asked Kristen Nicole, "Aside from presenting the video service as a set of videoconferencing tools, Google may in fact expand on the video offering in order to integrate video with email and chat as well."

Google hasn't set a date for when a language translation tool for video would be available. But the idea of an instant translation service for real-time video communication is not only incredibly cool but a positive step in bridging the linguistic boundaries of our global communities.