In today’s rapidly globalizing market there are very few things that truly separate people from one another. There is however, one obstacle that has made the dividing line almost impossible to cross: language.
The soul food of culture, language has the power to bring people together with the same magnitude that it can keep people apart. But the days of separation may be behind us thanks to the new technologies with sole purpose of bridging the language barrier gap. For years now companies have been working on a way to allow communication across language barriers; one company, Waverly Labs, has already succeeded in that endeavor.
In 2016 Waverly Labs launched to the market its new Pilot Translating Earpiece, which allows users access to instant translation to another language directly through the earpiece.
Currently, this technological breakthrough extends to English and Latin root languages, such as French, Spanish and Italian with the more complex languages to be added shortly.
It was officially presented alongside similar technologies at the February 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Currently available for pre-sale order, the earpiece won’t be officially available to the public until May 2017.
As incredible as it is, this technology is not without its limitations. Due to the analysis time that is needed when receiving signals, the translation process currently stands at a one second delay. Also to successfully complete the translations, the earpiece requires access to a mobile platform. Additionally, to participate in a conversation all individuals need to be equipped with one of these earphones.
However, some speculate that while this first-generation device only works if everyone in the conversation owns an earpiece, the future device could translate everything around you with only one pair of these earphones necessary. Moreover, the device should be able to work offline, which would eliminate the data charges and serve as a major selling point to tourists.
Another start-up looking to make its way into the industry is Mymanu. Mymanu is already one step ahead of the game with their CLIK earphones. These earphones offer instant wireless translation to 37 languages, a service that extends to telephone conversations as well. CLIK earphones are equipped with media controls such as pausing, playing, swiping songs, and answering the phone, all with a simple touch. Complete with an autonomous 120mAh battery that allows for recharge, these earphones are going to be a major step in revolutionizing communication. In November 2016 the company raised enough funds to create the project, and expect CLIK to be available on the market shortly.
There are however impressive translating technologies that have already made it to market and are currently able to translate almost instantly what a person is saying across multiple platforms. In 2015 the Google Translate app was able to offer users the ability to translate more than 35 written languages, simply by using their camera.
The Google Translate app has also launched an instant speech translation tool. With this, users are able to get instant speech translation by speaking directly into their microphone; the app will then translate the speech into the desired language and repeat it back. This option is available in more than 40 languages and can easily be used for a conversation as the app is able to recognize different languages simultaneously.
Another notable instant translator is the lesser-known Skype Translator. Introduced in October 2015, the Skype Translator was available for integration into Skype for Windows desktop. Using machine learning which allows the program is able to learn from new users and improve automatically, the user can translate their conversation into 7 languages (English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin).
With the world becoming an increasingly global culture, the need for products and functions like these to be integrated into our daily lives is becoming more and more prevalent. The translating industry is thriving, with technological projects emerging fast. The buzz in the industry promises to bring exciting new products, and revolutionise the tourism, business, and other global industries.