As more and more tech giants jump onto the real-time translation bandwagon using artificial intelligence and machine learning, it’s interesting to investigate how businesses can benefit from this new technology and more importantly, if they are worth the money.
We’ve taken a look at two of the big players in the real-time translation technology space, Google Pixel Buds and one of the originals, Pilot Buds by Waverley Labs. Both give the user the power to unlock languages and break down barriers.
When you’re on a business trip, at an international conference or you are having a meeting with a foreign client, real-time translation technology could save you time and money.
How does real-time translation technology work?
Google Pixel Buds
In order to get your Google Pixel Buds up and running to start real-time translation, you will have to pair them with a smartphone. Currently the translation aspect of the buds only works with Android devices so you will need a smartphone built on Android. You’ll also need to download the app to access the translation functionality and finally pair the smartphone with the Pixel Buds.
When you need help translating, all you need do is tap the right earpiece and send a command to Google Assistant.
The Google Pixel Buds are rechargeable and come with their own charging case and can offer up to five hours of playback time before needing to be recharged again. The buds are available in Just Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue.
Waverley Pilot Buds
Waverley Labs, the creator of the Waverley Pilot Buds, is a small start-up that specialises in real-time translation technology through their low energy Bluetooth earbuds. After four years of research, the company has continued to grow thanks to successful crowdfunding via an Indigogo campaign.
The Waverley Pilot Buds were the world’s first smart earpiece to translate between different users speaking different languages. Using the most up-to-the-minute technology available in speech recognition, machine translation and advances in wearable technology, the smart earpiece enables users to understand people speaking different languages.
These earpieces are available in black, red or white and offer four to six hours of talk time and have a Li-ion rechargeable battery.
Pilot Buds also come with a secondary earpiece so you can enjoy wireless streaming of media content that is shareable with another person, essential for meetings or on business trips.
Like the Pixel Buds setup, it’s essential that you download the app to your smartphone.
How the linguistics work in practice
Google Pixel Buds
When you’re using Google Pixel Buds the translation software will allow you to both listen to and speak in foreign languages using a smartphone. If you want to use it for listening purposes, you will need to hold down the earbud which will allow you to listen along in real-time.
You can also use the Google Assistant to speak in another language using the Google Translate app on your smartphone to automatically translate what you’re saying into any of the other 40 languages available via the Google Translate app.
Waverley Pilot Buds
The Waverly Pilot Buds are very similar to the Google Pixel Buds. There is an accompanying smartphone app that allows you to toggle between different languages and uploads the chosen language to your earpiece when you choose to use it.
When you place the Waverly Pilot Buds on conference mode, multiple people can participate in the same conversation, whether they speak the same foreign language or not. Similarly to the Google Pixel Buds, the Waverley earpiece can use your phone’s speaker to transmit what you’re saying to others.
The only downside is that there are currently 15 languages available in the app, compared to Google Translate’s 40 languages. However, new languages are being explored and added by the company each year.
Is real-time translation worth it?
The technology is still new and relatively pricey but it does offer a fantastic boost to anyone who conducts a lot of international business to help you communicate in a more natural and direct manner during meetings or conferences. They may allow you to access the basic sentiment of what’s being said which is great for when there’s a small number of contributors to a meeting or conference. However, conversation really doesn’t flow naturally using these systems and, if the content is complex or nuanced – then we just couldn’t recommend them. Instead, rely on professionally translated conference documentation or white papers.
Real-time translation still isn’t perfect, in large part because machine translation still isn’t perfect. If you’re looking for a translation service that does a bit more than just enable you to understand the basic message behind a statement, it’s best to bring in the professionals.
For your company’s internal material and marketing assets, contact the language translation service experts here at Bubbles to ensure your content comes across in the best light for your international target market.
If you need professional translation services for your business, contact Bubbles today to find out more.