Has the language barrier ever prevented you from traveling to foreign countries? International travel would be so much easier if you didn’t have to tote that vocabulary book around, or pull up various apps on your phone that halt the flow of conversation. Well, it’s time to start planning that Europe or Asian vacation you’ve always dreamed of because now you can discreetly wear an earpiece that translates language automatically as you hear it.
The Pilot, by Waverly Labs, allows two people who speak different languages to communicate with and understand each other. Creator Andrew Ochoa came up with the idea in 2014 after meeting a French woman he was unable to talk to because she didn’t speak English well, and he didn’t speak French. After attempting to use different apps on their smart phones, Ochoa realized that more barriers were created with phones in front of their faces than they were trying to break down. As Ochoa describes the new technology, when one person speaks, the other hears it in their language.
Dual noise-cancelling headphones mean you can hear your companion’s voice distinctly, followed by the translator’s voice after it passes through layers of speech recognition, machine translation, and speech synthesis. The translated language is sent to the other person with only seconds of a delay. It doesn’t translate everything around you—only what is said between people who have the Pilot earpiece. The device comes with two earpieces for sharing during conversation, or someone can use the smartphone app to also make translation possible.
The device is paired with an app, and the additional earpiece makes the set act as basic headphones for one person to listen to music, etc. The smartphone app toggles between languages and uploads them to the earpiece for use both offline and overseas, while the app can also be used as a phrasebook for basic translation. If multiple people have the device, a conference mode is available for larger conversations, and a loudspeaker function can transmit what you’re saying to those within hearing distance.
The first languages available will be English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. Between summer and fall of 2017, new languages groups will be available including Germanic, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Slavic, East Asian, and African.
The Pilot isn’t obtrusive on the body. Its ergonomic design hugs the curves of your ear and feels snug, all while looking sleek and fashionable in three color options of red, white, and black. It’s rechargeable battery allows for 4-6 hours of talking time.
An Indiegogo campaign has raised $2,632,210 USD total funds, with the first launch of the product on the horizon in May 2017.
Reserve yours for $199 USD plus shipping.