Dutch airline KLM used Google Cloud Speech to help people traveling through an airport communicate with each other in their own languages

Airports are some of the busiest places in the world, but because of packed schedules and language barriers, passengers tend not to make human connections while waiting for their connecting flights.

Dutch airline KLM looked to change that this winter with its Connecting Seats, which automatically translate what one person is saying into the other person's language. Done in collaboration with ad agency DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, the seats were set up in an airports where people were invited to take a seat for a chat. Then, using Google Cloud speech, it translates what one person says in real time into the language of the other person's choice.

While the chair campaign was only a promotion for the holidays, it does showcase how new voice and translation technology might soon help us communicate across languages.

KLM Connecting Seats

Airports are some of the busiest places in the world, but because of packed schedules and language barriers, passengers tend not to make human connections while waiting for their connecting flights.

Dutch airline KLM looked to change that this winter with its Connecting Seats, which automatically translate what one person is saying into the other person's language. Done in collaboration with ad agency DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, the seats were set up in an airports where people were invited to take a seat for a chat. Then, using Google Cloud speech, it translates what one person says in real time into the language of the other person's choice.