Have you ever been lost, needed to use the restroom, or wanted to order a drink in a foreign country, but did not speak the native language? You may never need to struggle with language illiteracy again. New York-based company Waverly Labs has announced the Pilot, the first smart earpiece which translates between users speaking different languages.
The translator was invented by founder Andrew Ochoa who said he had the idea for it “after meeting a French girl” and wanting to communicate with her clearly. Ochoa stated, “It's the dream, you know? A life untethered, free of language barriers. It's just that it's no longer a dream anymore. It's real."
The video shows Ochoa and a French woman speaking together with little lag. The woman exclaims in French, “This is awesome!” and “How are you doing this?”
How the Pilot works is unclear. Its website says that it uses “translation technology” embedded in an app. There is no further information about this “translation technology,” however. The first generation device works only when speaking to someone wearing an earpiece, but future generations could listen to everything happening nearby. One person can use the Pilot to listen to music. It is also designed to work offline in order to avoid overseas data charges.
The Pilot will initially be released in European-based Romance and Germanic languages, including English, Spanish, French, and Italian. If the product is successful, it will also be released in Slavic, Semitic, Hindi, and East Asian languages. It will be available in black, red, and white.
Waverly Labs says that it will begin taking pre-orders through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo this spring. The app will release this summer and the earpieces will be available by Spring 2017. The product will be for sale for $299 including access to select languages. Additional languages will be available via download.