English has evolved to be the language of the world’s most international business communication. However, it isn’t always fair to expect people to speak it proficiently, and the inability to communicate in English doesn’t take away a person’s other invaluable skills and professionalism. Learning English and other languages is incredibly difficult. Fortunately, tech visionaries have introduced several solutions to overcome this communication barrier. The wearable device called Ambassador, produced by Waverly Labs is one of them.
A world without language variables
The US-based startup Waverly Labs released the Ambassador product last year with a mission to connect professionals across language barriers. It consists of two earbuds connected via Bluetooth, a dual data cable, and a mobile app. Both earpieces are fitted for the right ear, which makes it somewhat harder for people deaf in their right ear to use, but they can still see the transcription of the translated text on the app. It requires an Internet connection to work.
Modes of operation
Ambassador offers three modes – “Converse”, “Lecture” and “Listen”.
- In the Converse mode, the device allows several people to talk to each other whilst the app broadcasts the translated text to each person’s unit.
- In the Lecture mode, the device translates the speaker when they’re speaking to an audience and broadcasts it via their phone’s speaker or a paired audio system.
- In the Listen mode, a single unit can be used to listen to translations of someone else speaking a foreign language within 2.5 meters of the listener.
The device currently supports 20 languages and 42 dialects and can facilitate conversation between up to 4 persons.
Unfortunately, I was unable to test the device myself. I can definitely see its appeal for business meetings, training, and lectures. From what I can see, however, it requires the speakers to speak clearly and enunciate like most other text-to-speech translators. That’s not something native speakers of a language always do, especially if they’re not used to working with a foreign audience. Plus, only making the headsets comfortable to be worn on the right ear isn’t very inclusive. We’ve previously covered inventions like SignAloud, which address this, albeit not without imperfections. Watch the video below to learn more about the Ambassador by Waverly Labs.
YouTube: Language Translation Device ‘Ambassador’ by Waverly Labs