Voice recognition technology that will help troops in Iraq communicate with locals may be in production by the end of the year.

AHKY, Arabic for speak, is a wrist watch-based device that translates basic phrases like ‘don’t shoot’, ‘stay back’ and ‘help will be here soon’.

Invented by Amin Ismail, an Iraqi-born student who fled to the UK before the outbreak of the Iraq war in 2002, AHKY attracted enormous attention when it was shown at the University of Derby’s Art, Design and Technology Degrees Show earlier this year.

Mr Ismail has since been hired by Civil Defence Supply, a military equipment producer, to perfect and produce the device.

Although AHKY is currently programmed for Arabic-English translations, it could be reconfigured for other languages in the future, Mr Ismail says.

He hopes the device will be in production within six months.