Opening up a new front in the machine translation wars, Xerox is now giving people the ability to make instant translations from copiers and printers. Just watch.
Xerox just broke the market wide open by introducing its new Easy Translation feature on Thursday, which lets you place a document into a copy machine that will spit out a translation on the fly.
It’s not for big projects, but it’s an impressive function. From your desktop or PC or now your multifunctional printer, you will get instant machine translations of your text with options in more than 30 languages. Offerings include French (France, Quebec and Haitian Creole), Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Spanish (Spain or Mexico), Malay, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Welsh, Hmong Daw and others. They also offer 20 different file outputs, from PDF and MS Word to JPGs. For image files, they recommend resolution between 300 and 600 dpi.
“Documents translated via your Xerox ConnectKey-enabled multifunction printer (MFP) or mobile app can be downloaded from our web portal via your saved order history,” Xeroxtranslates.com says.
Xerox services will be free for the first 30 translations but then the scale might become prohibitive. They offer three services: Express, Professional or Expert. All are backed by OCR (optical character recognition) while the latter is backed by human translators. Express offers $.10 per word, Professional $.23 and finally Expert $.35. You could be talking in the thousands of dollars really fast. You would presumably be paying for the fast turnaround time.
That can leave things open for smaller translation startups like Unbabel or Skuuper to continue growing their networks and building their own machine translation technologies.
It is still a major deal that Xerox has pulled this off, creating a SaaS business model out of character recognition technologies. Google Translate introduced machine translations for images way back in 2012, but has not rolled it out as a monetized business. Several other apps are also available for that sort of linguistic trickery on Android and iOS.