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What Language Barrier? Waverly Labs Develops Real-Time Translation Device

Posted by cfeehan on June 15, 2016

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I’m going to set a scene for you. Imagine yourself sipping espresso at a quaint little café in Paris – let’s say you even have a nice view of the Eiffel Tour from your table. A waitress walks up to you and says something in French that you can’t understand. You reach into your pocket, pull out a tiny ear piece, place it into your ear, and suddenly…everything she says is in perfect English. You don’t have to take out your phone and type anything into a translator app, and you don’t have to spend a moment looking incompetent because you simply don’t get it. 

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Instead, you have the power of real-time translation in your hands (or ears), making it unbelievably easy to communicate with people all over the world – even if you don’t technically speak the same language.

The ear piece I’m talking about is called the “Pilot” and was developed by Waverly Labs. And yes, it really does make the above situation possible, promising live translation while in the wearer’s ear. Check out the video below for a more in-depth view of the product. 

Incredible, right? For now, the Pilot can easily translate four languages – Spanish, French, Italian and English – but Waverly Labs will hopefully add many more to the device’s repertoire as the technology becomes more advanced.

You may be thinking “wait, wasn’t this already invented?”, but my guess is that you’re probably just remembering the Babel Fish from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Babel Fish, after being placed in the wearer’s ear, was said to allow the wearer to “instantly understand anything said to [them] in any form of language”. Sounds suspiciously like Waverly Labs’ new device, doesn’t it?? And it only took us about 35 years to turn the idea into a reality – a little too long, if you ask me.

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The only current problem with the Pilot is that it isn’t available for immediate purchase. On Waverly Labs’ website, you can pre-order the device, but be aware that you won’t actually receive it for about another year. If you really want one, you have to act quickly – it looks like there aren’t many units left, and you only have about a week to place your pre-order. The Pilot goes for $199 USD on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding website similar to Kickstarter. Fun fact: Waverly Labs hit their funding goal within 15 minutes of posting their campaign! It seems like people are incredibly excited about this device, and it’s easy to see why.

If the idea of a real-time translator has inspired you to plan a trip overseas, don’t miss Execulink’s blog post about how to travel on a budget, complete with tons of money-saving tips and tricks!

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.