Real-time translation and speech at your service!
EDIT: UPDATE APRIL 2020: THEY HAVE MISSED MANY DEADLINES AND UPON FURTHER RESEARCH, WE CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE TECH IS OVERHYPED AND NOT REALLY AS IT IS SHOWN IN THE VIDEO. PLEASE BE HIGHLY SKEPTICAL AND DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS RIGHT NOW
Traveling is fun and probably one of the best ways to broaden your horizons. But, the real problem is trying to understand the natives and in some cases avoid being ripped off. What if there was a workable prototype, that covered all the language barriers (No, this doesn’t include Klingon) and made traveling a seamless experience. Well, it’s time to turn fiction into fact. Whenever you binge-watched Star Trek movies, you came across a certain ‘Universal Translator,’ that enabled our heroes to talk to alien species, especially newly discovered ones. Well, Waverly Ambassador plugs this gap, at least for Earth-bound languages. The best part of the bargain is that it only costs $99 and is available at Indiegogo and Amazon.
Before going further, let’s look at the Waverly Labs team:
Andre Ochoa is the CEO working alongside Sergio Delrio Diaz as the VP-Product. The startup was founded as a result of the convergence between speech translation and wearable tech. The first project ‘Pilot’ debuted in 2016 and focused on live translation through smart earbuds. The turnover of $8 million was achieved through 35000 units. Ambassador is the next step towards live real-time communication. The key objective of ‘high-quality translation,’ is behind Ambassador’s development. The key developments include a hygienic over-the-ear design that enables stress-free sharing with strangers. Furthermore, a new technology enabling syncing one smartphone to multiple devices is pending patent registration.
How does it work?
Like a lot of smart equipment out there, the device connects seamlessly with your mobile phone and enables you to have a conversation in a different language. It consists of two earpiece devices that cover 20 languages and 42 associated dialects. You might argue that Google Translate or Microsoft Translator do the job as well, but they aren’t suitable for a live real-time conversation. Furthermore, the nuances of languages are highly intricate and that’s where the library of 42 dialects really help. The applications of this device are breathtaking and people can use them in one-on-one conversations, conferences, interviews etc.
The technology itself is very interesting as a far-field microphone captures sound with precision and translates it with the use of a translation that is cloud-based in nature. According to Waverly, this results in fast and fluid conversations. How exactly does this technology help? There are three important modes i.e. Listen, Lecture mode and Converse mode. The first mode is designed to seek a selected language within 8 feet of the Ambassador device. The Lecture mode is essential for broadcasting a lecture by a foreign speaker into the audience’s language. The resulting audio translation will be available on smartphones or through a paired audio system. The Converse mode as suggested by the name is intended for fluent conservations featuring up to 4 people. The earpieces come in pairs and can be linked with one smartphone.
Currently, the supported languages include English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Turkish, Polish, Chinese Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Thai, Hebrew and Dutch.
The implications of the device are manifold when considering academia, law enforcement, hospitals and hospitality. The speech to text feature of Waverly Labs is acknowledged and a real-time speech ability will take communication to a whole new level. While discussing this technology, we have to take things with a pinch of salt as there are bound to be glitches either in the sound transmission tech or the translator. However, what’s important to realize is that human interaction is improving and very soon we might have a device that communicates seamlessly in all global languages. The outcome for business and e-commerce cannot be emphasized enough and that’s why Waverly Labs is focusing on professionals.
At this moment, what do some international publications have to say about this riveting tech?
According to Guardian: Once the stuff of science fiction, a technology that enables people to talk using different languages is now here in real!
Wired says: Soon talking to strangers will be even easier.
As mentioned, Waverly Labs has done a thorough job of assimilating tech as per user requirements. For one to one communication, the basic model will be available at $109 after the early bird discount expires. This includes 2 ambassador units with a charging time of 6 hours, along with Micro-USB charging cables and a user manual. The devices are available in wine-red and black colors.
There are 3 additional packages with the first one being Small teams III priced at $179 and catering to four people. The next package is designed for 10 users and is priced at $375. The final package is the Enterprise edition which is designed to support an organization’s needs and can connect 20 people at a time. In case the needs are unqualified, the product is refundable.
The product’s estimated shipping time is November 2019.
Our Verdict: At less than a hundred dollars, the Waverly Ambassador is a steal for your next foreign travel itinerary. The ability to converse fluently and avail educational benefits are features embedded in the Ambassador technology. At the very least, this tech will inspire other companies to enter this niche and introduce similar tech that covers the whole globe. Smart tech might mean that translators are a job that might become extinct in the near future.
Furthermore, Google Translate and Microsoft Translator might ramp up their efforts, to avoid being left behind. This will enable ease of access and affordability for the masses. Overall, science fiction is fast becoming scientific fact.
Comment below if you think these are cool or meh, and which tech idea do you think will become a reality in the near future.
DISCLAIMER: WE HAVE NOT TESTED THESE OURSELVES YET. ALL THE IMAGES ARE FROM THE AMBASSADOR'S WEBSITE AND INDIEGOGO PAGE.