When I was a kid watching Star Trek, I fully expected that I'd see the tech from the TV show in my lifetime. Star Trek really excited me about technology and is definitely one reason why I eventually settled into the field. As I got older and went into technology as a profession, I kept waiting and waiting. In most respects, I'm still waiting.
There are some Star Trek technology that has come to fruition like cell phones (communicators), food technology (microwaves), lasers and others. The transporter was my favorite and is the one thing I most hope to see before I die.
Today, Microsoft gave me new hope that we've not become too stagnant and that we're still on a steady course to see even more Star Trek tech in the near future. Today, Microsoft updated its Bing Translator app for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 that brings speech-to-speech language translations. I may have to plan a trip out of country (or, out of the galaxy) just to test it.
If you have the Bing Translator app installed already, just wait for the update to be available from the applicable store. If you don't have it installed and want to test out the new feature, use the following links:
Windows Store: Bing Translator for Windows 8
Windows Phone Store: Bing Translator for Windows Phone
Additionally, Microsoft also update the app to include text translations. Using your device's camera, just point and shoot, and Bing Translator will translate the real-world content.