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You've heard of Live Caption, but the Pixel 6 is getting Live Translate too

The ability to translate videos in real-time without an internet connection? The Pixel 6 can do it.

Published onAugust 3, 2021

google pixel 6 pro range
  • Google’s Pixel 6 phones offer a cool Live Translate feature.
  • This will allow you to get real-time translations for videos.
  • The feature works offline thanks to the Pixel 6 family’s TPU machine learning chip.

Google revealed a host of Pixel 6 series details yesterday, with the phones being the first to use Google’s in-house Tensor chipset. The processor comes with a tensor processing unit (TPU) for faster machine learning, and there are several use-cases for this silicon.

XDA-Developers previously uncovered the existence of a mysterious “Live Translate” feature earlier this year, and The Verge and Washington Post have now revealed exactly what this is.

The latter publication notes that the Pixel 6 series will offer the ability to “generate live, translated captions when you are watching — or listening to — content in another language.” Meanwhile, the former outlet experienced a demo which showed that the new phones were able to translate a video from French to English in real-time without an internet connection.

More coverage: Why the Pixel 6’s Tensor processor is actually a big deal (and why it isn’t)

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen offline translation functionality on a smartphone, as Google Translate and other services allow you to download language packs for translating text without an internet connection. But offline voice translations are a more significant challenge for smartphones, let alone Live Translate functionality that emphasizes lightning-fast inference.

Live Translate could nevertheless be a handy feature for a number of reasons. For one, it could open up previously untranslated video content to far more users. We also cover plenty of smartphone launches here at Android Authority, so tech like this could be great for the next China-only Xiaomi or India-only realme launch.

These aren’t the only functions enabled by the TPU chip either, as Google highlighted features like offline voice typing/dictation, better HDR video processing, and the ability to reduce blur in shots. We’ll undoubtedly hear more about the Pixel 6 duo’s machine learning prowess (and more) when the phones launch in the coming weeks.

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