In the universe of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, bilingual communication was made easy by a small, friendly yellow creature called Babel fish. It could translate any language spoken in any galaxy. Scientists recently invented the world’s first real-time translator, which could translate more than 40 languages. Waverly Labs, a start-up that develops an earpiece language translator, launched its Pilot hardware which is supposedly the real-life alternative of Babel fish.
Waverly’s Pilot is a fruit of four years of software and hardware research. The company developed its own translation software and used other third-party software to cross check the accuracy. Unlike other earbuds in the market, Pilot’s earbuds are not tethered together. In fact, they are meant to be shared with another. Pilot does the inverse translation by listening the words and speaking them in the user’s ear, which enables a real-time translation. According to CNN, the hardware had some problems in catching all words, as the demo was conducted in a loud environment; however, the translation was quick and accurate.
Last year, Google launched its most awaited product–Pixel Buds. It offers an instant access to Google assistant and a real-time translation of more than 40 languages. Just after saying “Ok Google, help me speak”, it provides instant language translation. To use this facility, one needs Pixel Buds, Google smartphone, and Google Translate app. Although people are widely disappointed by some of the features of Pixel Bud, its translation capability is truly outstanding.
Google’s Pixel bud is not the only player in the wearable real-time translator market. The wireless earphones of Dash Pro powered by Bragi AI are capable of more than just face-to-face conversation translation. It comes with 27 sensors, Bragi’s unique kinetic interface, Bluetooth pairing and connectivity, five hours of battery life, and most importantly, it can translate more than 30 languages. The earbuds feature head-gesture, which allows user to interact with the software just by nodding. Dash Pro resembles Google’s Pixel Buds, however, unlike Pixel Buds, Dash Pro provides a seamless real-time translation.
Apart from Google and Dash Pro, a Chinese startup, Timekettle, created a Babel fish alternate– WT2 real-time earphone translator, and seems like, it is the next big thing in real-time, hands-free bilingual communication. It comes with a snap-together shell, which provides the charging point to the earbud. The buds stick out from ears, and when one speaks, the other one can listen the translation. The device supports more than five languages, and its battery lasts for more than six hours. The startup has been funded by Kickstarter, America’s largest funding platforms for innovative ideas. There is no doubt that WT2 will change the course of bilingual communication.
As the technology is bringing the world closer, the language barrier has become an unavoidable obstacle. However, there are no limits to the inventions in the field of wireless, hands-free, and real-time translators, if one does not lack imagination.