Don’t panic! $130 Babel Fish-like gadget fits inside your ear to translate foreign languages in real-time

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Source: Mail Online

By SARAH GRIFFITHS FOR MAILONLINE

If trying to order dinner or find your hotel abroad fills you with fear due to your abysmal grasp of foreign languages, don’t panic.

A forthcoming in-ear gadget is claimed to be able to translate speech like the Babel Fish in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, or the Universal Translator gadget in Star Trek.

The system, dubbed the Pilot, comprises two earpieces to be worn by two people who do not speak the same language and uses an app so the duo can converse with ease.

It is claimed to be the first ‘smart earpiece’ capable of translating between two languages.

The company behind the technology, Waverly Labs, said: ‘This little wearable uses translation technology to allow two people to speak different languages but still clearly understand each other.’

Information about how the technology works is thin on the ground, with Waverly Labs simply claiming it uses ‘translation technology’ embedded in an app. MailOnline has asked for clarification.

It is thought an accompanying app enables both earpieces to toggle between languages and a video shows the Pilot translating a conversation between French and English with only a small lag.

While the first generation device works only when speaking to someone wearing an earpiece, future generations could listen to everything happening nearby, so pairs of devices won’t be needed.

It is designed to work offline so it won’t incur data charges when used overseas.

The New York- based company behind the Pilot said both wireless earpieces can be used by one person for listening to music.

The gadget was invented by Waverly Labs founder Andrew Ochoa who said he had the idea for it ‘after meeting a French girl’.

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