Real-time translation technology is something that you associate with science fiction, not something that you would imagine hitting our stores in the next few years.
Introducing the Pilot - wearable technology that translates speech in real-time. The concept of Waverly Labs, the Pilot earpiece and translation app work together in harmony to translate real-life conversations as they occur.
No longer will you have to endure the embarrassment of not being able to understand a conversation, nodding incoherently whilst desperately flicking through your language dictionary to find some resemblance to the minefield of words being hurled at you at incredible speeds, or relying on your mind-bank of completely useless foreign phrases learnt in high-school – “I live in a two-storey house”… Pilot does the hard work for you.
The wireless earpiece fits snugly into the ear and can be worn comfortably and discreetly. The first earpiece uses noise-cancelling microphones to minimize background noise and focus on speech. The translation is then fed to and processed via the Pilot App, which is then returned to the user via the second earpiece. The entire process occurs almost instantaneously – with just a few seconds of delay which the company are already working to minimize.
The noise-cancelling technology ensures the microphone focuses only on your speech and only translates for people with the Pilot earpiece, meaning you don’t have to worry about the earpiece translating everything in your surrounds and bombarding you with noise in the second earpiece. The translation is said to work for a group of users (if they are all wearing the earpiece and using the app) and if you only want to use one earpiece the Pilot App can process the translation on speaker mode – a less discreet option but an option none the less.
Despite all the excitement, there’s one major, disappointing downfall – it only works with a data connection. The Pilot earpiece and app would be the perfect companion for travellers worldwide. Imagine wandering around without the weight of your dictionary holding you down. If only you had a data connection! Waverly Labs have stated that they are working on an offline model, but offline modes won’t be available in the first line of release – meaning travelling users will need to buy a data roaming add-on or purchase an international sim card.
The first Pilot model would be the perfect accompaniment to international business meetings, college exchanges and general meet-and-greet circumstances. It may not be an affordable option for those unable to fork out the cost of international data connection charges, but with the expansion of readily available Wi-Fi, it may be one of the best pieces of travel technology we’ve seen in decades.
The Pilot is available for pre-order for $249.00 USD and comes with 2 earpieces, battery charger and access to the translation app. Pre-orders will come with free access to ‘latin/romance’ languages and will have the option to purchase further languages as app development continues.