Language translation abilities could be a selling point for future versions of the Android mobile phone operating system, as it's reported Google is working on a "Babel Fish" phone.

Obviously the development would be a software, rather than hardware one, and is seen as a cross between the translation tools Google offers online and its speech recognition tech in Android.   

"We think speech-to-speech translation should be possible and work reasonably well in a few years’ time", Franz Och, Google’s head of translation services tells The Times.

"Clearly, for it to work smoothly, you need a combination of high-accuracy machine translation and high-accuracy voice recognition, and that’s what we’re working on. If you look at the progress in machine translation and corresponding advances in voice recognition, there has been huge progress recently".

The Times suggests that Google hopes to have a basic system ready within a couple of years, before reminding us that the in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, the Babel Fish caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.