January 19, 2017

Waverly Labs Earpieces Translate Other Languages Almost Instantly


Real-time translation used to be the domain of human beings, but machine translation has evolved to the point it can now deliver highly accurate results instantly.

Watch this video that shows you how the new Pilot real-time translation earpiece works if you really want to be impressed:

Real-time Translation Earpiece

At first glance the Pilot looks like a small hearing aid, but it has been uniquely designed by Waverly Labs as the world’s first real-time translation earpiece. Using a combination of speech recognition, machine translation and voice synthesis, this tiny device takes the spoken words of one language and translates them to another one.

Real-time translation is being addressed by all the major tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, Apple and others. Skype Translator was announced last year offering six voice languages as well as 50 messaging languages. With globalization and today’s collaborative workforce environment, translation solutions are a critical piece of how we will be communicating.

So far, the only languages that are available for the Pilot include Latin or romance languages, such as English to Spanish, French, Italian, etc., which will be available this summer. The company said it is working on other languages, including East Asian, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Slavic, African and others at a later date. These additional languages will be available for a premium fee, however, if you decide to buy the Pilot during the launch campaign, you will always receive the language packs for free.

The Pilot comes with two ear pieces and an app that seamlessly integrates with your smartphone to begin translating as soon as the conversation begins. With a delay of only a couple of seconds, this real-time translation earpiece will let you carry on a conversation in the language you have selected right away.

Currently the device only translates the conversation you are having with the person, but the company sees future versions working with your surroundings to eventually translate everything around you. Because the Pilot real-time translation earpiece uses machine learning, the company says it will continue to improve its accuracy and speed, thus reducing the couple of seconds of lag even more. The company also readily admits machine translation is not perfect and makes mistakes sometimes, but with increased usage the translation engine improves its performance.

The retail price for the Pilot is expected to be $249 to $299, but early bird customers can get limited quantities for $129, $149 and $179+ at different stages of launch. You can expect delivery as early as Christmas, but the company warns fulfilling orders could take until next spring.

Image: Waverly Labs

42 Comments ▼
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Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

42 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    This will change the way conversation goes especially for 2 people in different countries. It can be good for International negotiations too.

  2. You should run your bullshit detector before backing this campaign!

  3. I will no longer miss subtitles.

  4. this is awesome. i gotta get me one of these

  5. Would be very interested in this device when available !

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Janet,
      The potential applications for this device are so great, I think it will really take off when it becomes available.

  6. Where can I purchase this at? I am about to go to Mexico to meet my family. I don’t speak that much spainsh. Thus would help out a lot! Great invention to.

  7. At last a Babel fish (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). Just google it……

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Hans,
      I didn’t read the book, but I did watch the movie.
      Sci-Fi inspired gadgets are showing up in our world with greater frequency, I wonder what is next.

  8. this translator should be named Uhura after star trek series communications officer .

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Robbie,
      With the next iteration of the device, I don’t even think Uhura would be able to keep up, but then again she does speak Klingon.

  9. Is the Russian translation module available? If not, when will it be released. Thank you

  10. Michael Guta

    Hi Randy,
    I looked at the website and there is still no updates for additional languages. Here is the FAQ page if you want to keep track: http://www.waverlylabs.com/2016/05/faqs-about-early-bird-and-launch-date/

  11. what will stock market name be

  12. will you have for Russian speaking Ukraine people and how soon and will i have to buy a new pair to get the Russian translator

  13. Will this be available in Vietnamese language??? And when can I purchase one ???

  14. Michael Guta

    Hi Tommy,

    The company said it is working on East Asian and other languages in the future, but there is not a concrete date. You can order the device now and it will be delivered by Christmas time.

  15. I want in please!! Especially Spanish speaking. Question….to converse with a Spanish speaker, and I speak only English….I assume I would need to purchase one unit of these for each person, correct? Then….if say they were retail customers/prospects I needed to communicate with….do you have any sterilization ideas so multiple people can use the same one? I deal with Spanish speaking folks on a one on one basis. I would like to use and re-use of course. Thank you!!!

  16. Michael Guta

    Hi Jim,
    The full package includes the Pilot and secondary earpiece (2 earpieces total), 1 portable charger, and an accompanying app. You can pre-order now, but it is first comer first serve so you better hurry up if you want one. Go here for more info: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/meet-the-pilot-smart-earpiece-language-translator–2#/

  17. I want one, I need one for my work as an urgent care clinic nurse!

  18. Karen Nightingale

    My son is getting married in Spain in February and his fiancé’s family don’t speak English. We have been learning a little Spanish so this would be so useful. If I pre order one would I have it (in Brisbane) before end of January when we travel?

  19. I am a laguage translator. Want a device to change french language in english and vice versa

  20. If you can tell me when or if the Russian language will be or if it will be available I will order now.

  21. Michael Guta

    Hi Robert,
    Russian is one of the languages the company expects to make available, but no firm date so far.

  22. Hi ya Michael does it translate Greek yet

  23. Michael Guta

    Hi Tony,
    The company hasn’t announced when Greek would be available. The new languages are going to be released in the Fall of 2017, however, the site is not quite specific on which languages will be available, but I am thinking Greek has to be one of them.

  24. Hello Michael, this is a great product. What about translating Mandarin?

  25. Michael Guta

    Hi Kenny,
    Mandarin won’t be available initially, but it is one of the languages the company says will be available at a later date.

  26. I really want one of those. I have moved to the Tucson Arizona area and this could come in very handy for work or business.

  27. Michael Guta

    Hi Cynthia,
    Spanish is one of the languages that will be available right away, so like you said it will come in very handy. Let use know how it works if you get one.

  28. It specifically states “English to…” This presents the assumption that it only translates FROM English to the other languages. Will it go vise versa (Spanish to English)? I am an ESL teacher (English as a second language). My disctrict could benefit from this.

  29. Michael Guta

    Hi KAT,
    It translates between users speaking different languages; English to Spanish and vice versa.

  30. I mean no dis-respect however as I understand it we only have your word that this device even works? Does it detect the difference between Canada french and France french? Spanish spoken in Spain, Mexico and Puerto Rico as there are subtle differences in the three languages. As I read about this it’s an app for your smart phone. Does not Google translate do the same thing in voice mode with an earphone and bluetooth?

  31. Michael Guta

    Hi Ernie,
    This is what the founder, Andrew Ochoa, had to say to Forbes, “We’re building a hybrid system. Some of it’s licensed and some we’ve built ourselves. We don’t want to make any promises or references that this is incredibly real-time or that we could give you an earpiece and drop you off in the middle of Tokyo. That is not what we’re trying to convey at all.”
    It doesn’t sound like a full on endorsement, which might indicate there will be some growing pains attached to the product.

  32. I am looking into this product for future purchase. I have a few questions. Some might have been answered along the way but I have not seen the direct questioning I am looking to get answered.
    1. Are you able to communicate through a device, aka your phone, to allow everyone to hear you? I speak English and let’s say I need to translate to a group of Spanish speaking individuals. Will they understand what I am trying to tell them via the loud speaker on my phone?
    2. In order for me to understand someone else speaking to me, do they have to wear the ear piece directly in their ear or could it be within so many inches or feet from them and I would still be able to understand what they are saying? The ultimate question here is “Does the device ONLY work if the bud is in the giver and receivers ear?”
    These are the question I am looking to get answered as of now. I know when I searched the website the FAQ section did not answer any of these. I know that most of the information appeared to be updated a few month back. I was hoping these types of questions have been addressed and your company is able to give a little more than just “see website” because I have and they are not answered there.
    Thank you,
    K.

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