Technology has again made it possible for many companies to introduce remarkably more effective, less expensive and smaller devices capable of providing simultaneous translation.
Some can be held, and others can be worn. They differ in the number of languages and dialects that can be translated, in their ease of use, and battery life.
For the “consumer” attendee at CES, a major use would be when traveling abroad, asking for directions, arranging tours and transportation, or ordering meals
For the “business” attendee, language translators may be helpful when visiting and dining out in other countries, attending international events, or even conducting job interviews.
One solution to enable language to language translation from either spoken words or text is the app offered by Google, which is simply named Translate. It is free and works well, but does require using one’s smartphone, battery and wi-fi.
KotoznaChat offers a free trial on an app which claims to support 104 languages. Messages are automatically translated real-time into each other’s smartphone language, so a user does not need to check in advance what language the other person speaks. Users may use voice or text to communicate with anyone whether in person or elsewhere in the world.
Jovetrans (part of GTCOM) introduced an AI-powered handheld translation device that can translate 35 languages in real time. It claims to have a 36 hour battery life.
In addition, there are simultaneous translation earphones (interpretation sticks) which also allow the wearer to answer calls and listen to music. It sells for $129 USD. http://gtcom.com.cn/
ILA (the Instant Language Assistant) from TranslateLive can handle 120 languages and dialects.
This product was initially designed to help deaf, hearing impaired and/or blind users.
Soon, it also may be used in many business settings including:
- hotel registration areas
- offices and conference rooms.
Basically the product is two iPads connected back to back, with each person using one with their preferred language.
It is currently crowdfunding at indiegogo; as such, final pricing and delivery are not yet established. https://www.translatelive.com
Pocketalk is currently available only in Japan, but will be coming out in the United States in mid-March. The handheld device will offer two-way translation for 74 languages and operate for about 4.5 hours. It is to be priced at $299 USD.
The Ambassador Interpreter by Waverly Labs is a translation device to be worn over the ear. Like many other such tools, actual translation is done in the cloud, and thus requires internet connection.
It is currently being funded at indiegogo, with plans to begin shipping in the spring — before May 2020. Price for two earpieces and mics will be $199 USD. https://www.waverlylabs.com
Lingolet has introduced a personal language assistant that offers AI-based translation of 12 languages as well as access to live human interpreters for over 180 more
The basic product, Lingolet ONE, can run for over 10 hours, and can be hand held with dimensions of about 4 x 1 inches. It sells for $99 USD.