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Free speech

20 : 03 : 2017 Waverly Labs : Wearable : New Bricolage Living

New York – Waverly Labs is launching an earpiece that translates languages in real time.

  • The earpiece, Pilot, connects to an app that uses speech recognition and machine translation
  • At present the earpiece needs to be connected to the internet to work, but the brand is working on an offline version
  • Pilot uses noise-cancelling microphones to block ambient sound

By using speech recognition and machine translation, the wearable device is able to facilitate a fluent conversation between two users speaking in either French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or English. The earpiece is integrated with an app, which it links to via Bluetooth and wifi.

Users are required to turn on their smartphone microphone and then they can either speak directly into their phone or put it in a pocket or bag and Pilot will convert all of the speech into onscreen text as a permanent record of the conversation. Noise-cancelling microphones ensure that both users are able to concentrate on the conversation.

Pilot uses consecutive translation, waiting for the user to finish speaking before it begins, and there are a few seconds delay, which should be rectified as the speech recognition and machine translation software is trained during beta testing. Waverly Labs also accepts that the earpiece does not always translate accurately, but this should also improve with training.

The crowdfunded initiative has raised £3.5m ($4.4m, €4m) and early backers of Pilot on Indiegogo are expected to receive the first models in May this year.

Google also recently announced an update to the Android version of its Gboard keyboard, which now translates text as it is typed for a more seamless translation application.

The Big Picture

The traditional markers of identity continue to be broken down as New Bricolage Living enables consumers to widen their horizons, encouraging cultural integration.