25 Jan
KLM Airport Seats Translate Conversations in Real Time KLM Airport Seats Translate Conversations in Real Time

KLM Airport Seats Translate Conversations in Real Time

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Travelers spending part of their journey at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol can now choose to pass the time by joining in conversation with others -- even if they don't speak the same language -- thanks to some newfangled seating installations.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines recently came up with KLM Connecting Seats, devised in collaboration with DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, and installed them at the Amsterdam airport.

Every one of the seats has been designed to permit travelers to rest their heads in the middle of the headrest. Speakers are located on either side of the headrest, and a directional microphone allows for far-to-face communication to happen as the conversation is translated in real time.

DDB & Tribal Amerstam and the airline took advantage of Google’s Cloud Speech, Cloud Translation and Web Speech to ensure that the conversations could occur as translated in real time. This includes various dialects of world languages.

Media Post reports that, during the recent holiday travel season, people from more than 30 different countries used the specially designed airport seats to exchange pleasantries with passengers hailing from other lands. The conversations reportedly covered views of world issues as well as holiday greetings.

A promotional video depicts a young woman with two small children. A small girl, seated on the woman's lap, brightly says into the microphone, "We're going to see Santa Claus in Montevideo." That simple greeting should be enough to melt the coldest of holiday hearts -- no matter the translated language.

At the very least, seat setups such as this one can help people of varying backgrounds connect with fellow travelers, with whom they share more in common than likely imagined, without running into language barriers.


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Read 1890 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 January 2018 02:42
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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