May 18, 2016
In the popular sci-fi series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent travels the universe with his best friend and secret alien Ford Prefect. And while the inhabitants of other planets obviously don’t speak English, Arthur was able to communicate with them through the use of the Babel Fish, a small, yellow, leech-like animal that can translate any language into the user’s native tongue. And, as the Guide puts it, “it’s probably the oddest thing in the Universe.” While science fiction has brought us many great inventions, this technology has eluded us for years. Until now.
Waverly Labs, a New York-based startup, has made real-time translation possible with Pilot. These simple, Bluetooth earbuds are compatible with smartphones so you can have a conversation with just about anyone in the click of a button. Just place an earbud in your ear and one in your communication partner’s ear, and you’ll enjoy the translation technology that science fiction writers have been talking about for years.
This innovative breakthrough will facilitate multi-lingual conversations in a way that no one has ever experienced. Unless you count the users of the Babel Fish or the Universal Translator from Star Trek. And you don’t. The technology admittedly has a number of connectivity concerns that will require fine tuning, but so far, everything seems to be in tip top shape.
While Waverly Labs hasn’t entirely commercialized the product yet, the tests have been impressive and pre-orders are available through their Indiegogo campaign. There is still a short delay from the speaker to translator, but the speed is quicker than anything currently on the market.
The thing that sets Pilot apart from services like Skype and Google Translate is the wear-ability of the product. While others often require you to reach for your phone or be on a computer, Pilot is placed directly into your ear for simple translations with loved ones and new friends.
As you can see from the video below, the idea for the product came from a relationship. Founder of the Pilot project, Andrew Ochoa, met a French girl and couldn’t stand the idea of not communicating with her. Pilot helped them to communicate and will now become a public means of translation for the entire world.
Photo: Waverly Labs
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