Forget spending hundreds of dollars on foreign language lessons, immersion school or packing clumsy language dictionaries, those days are drawing to a close with the help of a new wearable tech that bridges the awkward language gap in real time.
Brooklyn-based Waverly Labs’ new prototype, the Pilot Translating Earpiece, is a translation device similar in fashion to earbuds with ambient noise canceling microphones. The earpiece can near instantaneously translate more than 15 different languages including Italian, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Hindi, Greek and English. The device fits comfortably in the outer ear canal and works via an online app on a wide range of smart platforms.
It brings a foreseen future to sci-fi fans with a capability unknown outside of the fictional Star Trek with it’s Universal Translator and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s Babel Fish.
At present the Pilot system can translate simple grammar structures, but developers say that it will improve with increased use to translate more complex syntax in addition to localized slang, common phrases and idioms of most native language speakers. That’s good news for you, and perhaps not so much for language teachers.