New speech translation gadget helps to streamline security at Edinburgh Airport

By Harris Cumming

The exciting new technology from Sourcenet can translate speech into 74 different languages, allowing travellers and airport staff to communicate more quickly and effectively.

Edinburgh Airport is one of the first in the country to move with the times and utilise the groundbreaking Pocketalk device. The move aims to support the airport’s existing translation team and is helping to clarify instruction and communication during the crucial security check-in process.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said:

“We’re an international airport in a city and country known for its diversity, its inclusiveness and its welcoming nature, and we want to make passengers feel at home at the airport.

“The security process is one of the most important as we need to ensure the safety of all passengers and staff so it’s vital that we have the ability to clearly explain the process and help people understand so we can make that process as positive as possible. 

“We’re already lucky to have native speakers within our teams – Pocketalk will enhance our ability to talk to those people who come from all over the world to visit Edinburgh and Scotland.”

Pocketalk is already proving to be a hit with staff and passengers alike. A press officer for Edinburgh airport reported that the initial response has been positive and that passengers have felt confident when using the new system.

However despite this evident success, other UK airports have not shown a particular interest in embracing such systems.

A representative for Prestwick Airport said:

“At the moment with the airport up for sale, we would not be implementing technology that translates various languages.  This maybe something that the new owners will consider.”

London Heathrow Airport declined to comment whether they were looking to incorporate a similar speech recognition aid, despite welcoming an equally diverse mix of nationalities through its terminals every day.

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