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Industry News

Raytheon BBN awarded $5.5M to develop speech, text translation capabilities

January 17, 2012
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The U.S. Army has awarded Raytheon BBN Technologies a $5.5M contract to develop a two-way communication and translation system that can be used on a variety of operating systems and platforms, including portable, mobile and net-enabled devices.

Raytheon BBN Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Co., will develop prototype systems for two-way speech-to-speech translation, document translation, and text-to-text translation. This capability will allow users to communicate with non-English speakers as well as to screen and translate printed or electronic text. In the initial technology development phase, BBN will develop the software architecture and implement it on prototypes in portable, mobile and net-enabled configurations.

"There simply are not enough human translators available to meet the Army's needs, and previous translation devices have restricted users to a selection of canned phrases," said Prem Natarajan, head of the speech, language and multimedia processing unit at Raytheon BBN Technologies. "The Machine Foreign Language Translation Systems program offers the promise of a complete communications solution for unrestricted speech and text across a variety of platforms -- from server-based systems to portable units for mobile use." 

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