"How can we communicate?" the alien being asks Captain James Kirk in a vintage edition of Star Trek. "My thoughts ... you are hearing them? This is interesting."
Kirk can hear them because he's got a handy little voice translation gizmo, just perfect for communication with extraterrestrials, and apparently an inspiration for the Pentagon. The government is now testing something like this gadget to aid US forces in Afghanistan.
One of the biggest challenges for troops in that region is the language barrier. To overcome this problem, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been evaluating a trio of new, portable handheld devices that record and then transmit voice translations of that country's two most popular languages.
From Ars Technica
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