Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has combined its voice-recognition and touch-screen technologies to enable users to display their spoken words on a tablet or a smartphone by dragging their finger on the screen.

As early as fiscal 2017, Mitsubishi Electric will release a special application based on the technology, combined with a translation function, the company has said.

The technology, believed to be the world’s first, will “help people transcend disabilities and foreign languages for smoother global communication,” Mitsubishi Electric said in a statement.

To use the technology, one presses down on the screen for a while before running a finger along the surface while speaking.

The spoken words then show up on screen just behind the moving fingertip, tracing the same line. If a curve is drawn, spoken words appear along the curve.

The technology will allow people to input words on their tablets and smartphones more easily and facilitate written communication for people with hearing disabilities.

The planned app will also be able to translate 10 languages including Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean, making it easier to communicate with foreign visitors to Japan, company officials said.