The idea for a little in-ear translator came to entrepreneur Andrew Ochoa when he met a French girl and didn’t know how to speak to her.
Fast forward to the present and Ochoa’s NYC-based startup Waverly Labs is taking pre-orders for their tiny device called the Pilot.
The Pilot is a wearable device for two people that translates in real time as they speak, right into each person’s ear.
In some ways it recalls Babel fish from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy,” which let humans instantly understand any language after sticking one in your ear. Except the Pilot doesn’t feed on brain waves — well, as far as I know.
Waverly Labs hasn’t released many details about exactly how the Pilot works, but does describe it online as a smart earpiece language translator that connects to an app for downloading and toggling languages. To start, it will translate among French, Spanish, Italian, and English before expanding to others.
Ochoa and his French friend Elodie do a sweet little demo with the devices here.
Ochoa’s goal is ultimately to make a version that can translate everything happening around you in a foreign country, the Telegraph reported.
The company will be accepting pre-orders via Indiegogo soon for the Pilot earpiece, which comes in three colors and is expected to retail for around $300 when it hits the market by spring 2017. A mobile app will be released this summer.
Waverly Labs says the earpieces will work overseas and offline, huge advantages for travelers who need to communicate in areas lacking Internet access. The response so far from globetrotters on Twitter has been along the lines of “shut up and take my money.”
Smartphones can now do a much better job translating in real time with various apps and Skypecan translate between callers, but the in-ear device strikes me as a more elegant solution. Plus, it frees up your hands for all the gesticulating that goes so well with Romance languages.
Source: News Discovery