Travelling is the best way to encounter new cultures and different kinds of people, even though there is usually a language barrier that prevents a good quality conversation. It is always helpful to know different languages when you travel, at least a couple of basic sentences. This is one of the reasons why mobile translation apps are so popular.
Companies like Microsoft and Google have been putting a lot of effort into perfecting their translation services, with several important leaps being made in the last six months. Google’s Translate app (available on iOS and Android) can translate spoken sentences, just like Microsoft’s app.
Even Skype is making it easier to cross a language barrier with its real-time translation, even though this service is still unreliable. However, there is a company that is promising to change this as well as to completely eliminate language barriers.
The wearable-technology company Weaverly Labs has come up with an earpiece capable of translating different languages in real-time. This product is called Pilot, and it should be available as an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign very soon.
The “smart earpiece”, as the company calls this real-time translation service, uses speech-recognition technology to translate different languages. In order to work, both participants need to wear the earpiece, which is why the set comes with two units.
Participants will be able to put in the earpiece and speak in their preferred language, while the other participant will instantly hear the words in a familiar language. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, many skeptics are saying that this kind of technology is still many years away.
One of the reasons why Pilot might be too good to be true is because it would require a constant Internet connection. This also requires a lot of processing power, especially because of the speech-recognition technology.
Furthermore, processing power needs real power, where a coin cell battery could hardly keep up with this kind of demand.
The second major reason is in the fact that languages have so much variety and diversity. This is why even some well-known applications and services (like Skype) are having a hard time translating spoken words.
The creator says that Pilot will understand English, Spanish, French, and Italian, with more language to follow (Slavic, Semitic, Hindi, and East Asian).
Users will be able to download support for more languages using the earpiece’s iOS/Android app. With major companies having a hard time to develop this kind of technology, it is hard to imagine that a start-up could solve this problem.
We previously wrote about another project whose credibility is also highly questionable. This Indiegogo campaign is offering to provide artificial gills called the Triton, that would allow you to breathe underwater.
Just like with Pilot, the two products are missing any clearer explanation. Instead, we get to see YouTube videos and other promotional material that fails to persuade users of their integrity.
If Pilot turns out to be highly reliable and actually useful, it will cost you $300. The price could change, since this is the announced price that will be listed in its Indiegogo campaign.