Parlez Vous…

 In Innovation, Software, User Experience (U/X)

Traveling can be one of the greatest joys in life. It can also be incredibly difficult. Missed flights, dodgy hotels, and languages barriers, to name just a few, can all put a damper on any adventure. While sometimes these misfortunes cannot be avoided, gone are the days of being hopelessly lost and confused when you don’t understand the local language.

pilotIntroducing the Pilot, by Waverly Labs, a real-time earpiece translator. Sized a little bigger than the average earbud, the Pilot fits snugly in the wearer’s ear, and works in unison with the smartphone application. It allows two people, speaking different languages, to have a conversation. In the words of Waverly Labs, “Simply put, when one person speaks, the other hears it in their language.” The opportunities created by using the Pilot make it the latest addition to wearable technology, as well as every jet-setter’s carry-on.

Although the Pilot is not projected to be available until the spring of 2017, there is tremendous demand. An Indiegogo pre-order campaign was set up in June 2016 by Waverly Labs to raise $75,000 for the production of the device. They hit their goal within 15 minutes and have now raised well over $2 million in seed money.

The Pilot is still available for pre-order through the Indiegogo campaign for the early bird price of $199. Considering that most of the future upgrades to the Pilot will be on the software (the app), and easily accessible to buyers, pre-ordering the first generation Pilot appeals to many. Not a bad deal considering the market price of the Pilot is predicted to be $299 a pop.

The Pilot has the potential to make travelers’ lives easier, and creates opportunities to experience cultural immersion, not just superficial tourism. Maybe it’ll even help us all become better citizens of the world. All because a goofy English-speaking guy, wanted to chat with a pretty French gal. It just goes to show that inspiration for innovation can come from anywhere.


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