Amazon Applies for Patent Protection for Its Real-Time Accent Translator

 

Amazon Audio System

Seattle-based American e-commerce and cloud computing company, Amazon has filed for a patent for its new audio system which detects and translates accents in real time, according to a Techcrunch report. The application tries to make accents easier to understand by adjusting a speaker’s voice to be similar to a listener’s accent.

If the innovation gets approved and is released in product form, it will make Amazon only one of several tech giants to introduce such functionality. The likes of Microsoft and Google have added such features to Skype and Google Translate respectively. Google’s Pixel Buds earphones also support the feature.

The Techcrunch report states that Amazon’s new program will be based on machine learning or aspects of machines. The machine learning methods involve individuals with a specific accent training different machines on speech for many hours. It is also believed that Amazon’s virtual assistant, the Amazon Alexa, with its global presence, will make the translation process faster and easier, thanks to a torrent of audio samples collected from smart devices like the Amazon Echo.

Amazon uses phone numbers, location data, as well as previous correspondence to identify the right accent to use. The application requires only a few words alongside previous accent data to detect how a user is likely to be speaking correctly. The speaker can also pick their accent manually.

An App Potentially Adaptable to Many Uses

If it ends up in a product form, Amazon’s real-time accent translator will have many applications. Users who travel far and wide and those who conduct international businesses could genuinely appreciate its ability to eliminate the accent barrier on the international scene.

Also, those who contact call center agents frequently will know how difficult it can be to understand some accents even if you speak the same language. The app will smoothen conversation, making it easier for a listener to understand what a call center agent is saying and vice versa.

A Dominant Player

The real-time accent translator patent signals Amazon’s intent to continue to expand its position in a market it already dominates. New data from the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) show that Amazon has captured a greater share (70%) of the US smart speaker market, which in itself is experiencing strong growth.

Google comes a distant second with 24 percent market share thanks to its Google Home device. Apple’s Homepod ranks third with just 6% of the smart speaker market. There’s no denying that Amazon’s two-year head start gave it a helping hand. With competitors still playing catch up, however, the real-time accent translator may help the e-commerce giant to establish itself in the market further if released.

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