Google Home's "Interpreter Mode" Now Available

Google announced today that it’s Interpreter Mode, which had been piloted at several hotel concierge desks since January, is now available on all Google Home devices.

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Given the company’s work into Google Translate for the past 13 years, it makes sense that we’d finally see Google’s smart assistant able to become a real-time translator. While the service is certainly far from perfect at translating the ever-evolving norms of language, Google seems to think that the new Interpreter Mode is good enough and useful enough for the entire Google Home market.

Google gave the following example of its usefulness:

Previously, if the concierge staff at Caesars Palace needed to help a non-English speaking guest, they’d have to dial their in-house translation service and pass the phone back and forth with them. Now, with interpreter mode on the Google Home Hub, concierge staff can personally provide guest recommendations in real time—leading to better service, plus quicker and easier guest transactions.

I’m always on the lookout for gimmicky smart technology attempting to pass itself off as practical. Even if this new feature only meets the bare-minimum standards of usefulness, I believe this one definitely passes as a practical use of smart technology that’s only going to get better over time.

From a business standpoint, if there’s one thing better than selling a product direct to consumers, it’s selling a product to a company that sells direct to consumers. Not only is that recipe a goldmine, but by providing a product to hotels and airports, rather than only direct to a consumer’s home, Google is allowing its smart assistant line to become even more ubiquitous with everyday social structures. Whether you find yourself in your neighbor’s home, at a resort in Las Vegas, or in JFK Airport, the Google Home is becoming increasingly present.

You can try interpreter mode with 26 different languages on any Google Assistant-compatible device by saying “Hey Google, be my [language] interpreter.”