“Stick this in your ear and it’ll translate any language you hear.”
It’s the stuff of sci-fi – the babel fish of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy orStar Trek‘s universal translator. But that’s exactly what Waverly Labs is promising to do with the Pilot earbuds.
Plug a wireless earpiece in (one is for translating, the other for streaming music), connect them up to a smartphone via Bluetooth and – no matter whether you’re hearing someone speak French, Urdu or German – you’ll be able to understand every word you hear.
Now, Waverly Labs isn’t stating how many languages the Pilot will be able to translate – but similar systems such as Google Translate (which you should really try out) has instant translation for 32 languages, while Skype can manage seven. There’ll also be some inevitable delay between the earbuds picking up the language, your phone processing the sound and translating it, before pushing the translation back to the earbuds.
There’s also no news on when the Pilot will be released: Waverly Labs will launch a crowdfunding Indiegogo campaign on 25 May, with pre-orders costing between $129 (£88) and $179 (£122).
We imagine that kids signing up for those extra French revision sessions are going to take a serious hit when these things become widely available.