A new wearable Bluetooth earpiece has been gaining traction on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, recently surpassing $1 million in funding and easily breaking its original goal of $75,000 from its backers. Called the "Pilot," the insertable earpiece translates languages in real time between users speaking with one another, all through a connected smartphone app.

The Pilot comes with two earpieces, and when used together the system can function as a traditional set of wireless earbuds with basic audio and music playback through a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. When in need of its translation ability, users can hand off one of the earbuds to another person so their conversation is filtered and translated to each user through the Pilot's real-time language translator.


To start off, the earpiece's creators -- Waverly Labs -- will include language packages for English, Spanish, French and Italian, with other languages introduced as paid downloads in the future. The app will initially be required to connect online when it launches this summer (as a basic translator sans Pilot earpieces), but will eventually store its language database offline so users won't have to worry about a constant internet connection fueling Pilot. There's even an option to funnel the translated conversation through a smartphone's speaker so everyone nearby can hear what a foreign speaker is saying.

The Pilot's FAQ mentions that translation isn't currently perfect, but that the more people use the device, the smarter Pilot will become. There's also "a couple of seconds of delay" between when a user speaks in their native tongue, and when it is translated to the second Pilot earbud wearer, which Waverly Labs says will be an aspect of the device it works hard at shortening through app updates.

pilot earpiece
Although there were early bird specials at discounted prices, all of them are sold out. Pilot is currently selling for $199 as a pre-order on its Indiegogo page. With that bundle users will get the two earpieces, a portable charger, and three different sized eartips. Other backer levels include bundles of extra Pilot earpieces, and the chance to meet the team at Waverly Labs and get a glimpse behind the scenes of the technology's creation.

The Pilot could be delivered, at the earliest, by Christmas of 2016, although Waverly Labs is telling backers to expect the first shipment of Pilot earpieces to arrive in Spring of 2017.

Top Rated Comments

Jacquesvw Avatar
71 months ago
.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrgraff Avatar
71 months ago
"It was difficult for us to communicate because she didn't speak English very well."
He's the one on vacation in a French-speaking country, but she's expected to know English?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lederermc Avatar
71 months ago
Doesn't Gene Roddenberry own the patent on that (Universal Translator). http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Universal_translator
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cerote Avatar
71 months ago
Nice, I need this so that I can understand my wife. I never get what she is talking about and we've been together 6 years already.
Mail order bride?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Richdmoore Avatar
71 months ago
I can't imagine many people will want to put something in their ear that was just in someone else's ear..... Especially a stranger.... Good idea, poor form factor.

A small speaker to hold next to the ear for the other person sound more hygienic.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
71 months ago
Nice, I need this so that I can understand my wife. I never get what she is talking about and we've been together 6 years already.
Dude.... no man will ever understand women. Just nod and say "yes dear" like the rest of us.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Partners With Delta to Provide Free In-Flight Music and Podcasts Service

Thursday September 2, 2021 12:59 am PDT by
Spotify has announced a new partnership with Delta that will see the streaming service take over the "audio" section of Delta's in-flight seatback entertainment, making select playlists and podcasts freely available to all passengers. You are now free to roam about the cabin—and get the music and podcasts you love at 30,000 feet. Beginning today, we're taking off in a new partnership with...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...