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Responding to disasters around the world requires communicating in foreign languages, the US Army’s Science, Technology and Experimentation division has teamed up with government and non-governmental organizations, as well as the corporate sector to unveil a new translator – SQU.ID.

The SQU.ID SQ 410, a ruggedized, hands-free, eyes-free translation device frees up the user to concentrate on the task at hand.

Made by Voxtec, the compact device is about five inches by three inches and weighs only 10 ounces. It has more than eight hours of battery life and a glove-friendly interface that’s extremely handy for disaster responders.

iHLS Israel Homeland Security

Voxtec has a library of 70 languages – ranging from Indonesian and French to Mandarin and Urdu.

The device does not need to be connected to a network to operate, which is handy in a disaster zone where power and connectivity can be very limited. The device also doesn’t need to be trained and taught to understand your voice. This means that a medic or other emergency personnel can simply speak into the microphone and within moments the device uses its speaker to convey the translation in the required language.