The world finally has its first pair of earbuds that can translate 37 different languages into the one you can understand in near real time. It may not help you speak to someone who doesn’t have the same technological advantage, but according to the Mymanu, the company that developed them: “The Mymanu Clik…is a wireless Bluetooth headset that’s capable of recognizing and translating between nine language packs and 37 different languages in real time, including French, Spanish, and Japanese. When powered on and paired to a smartphone, the earbuds automatically detect the language being spoken and provide a spoken translation within a sentence or two.”
Plus, they don’t need a wi-fi or data connection to work, and the company claims to be in “partnership” conversations now with the likes of Google and Spotify, which could result in quick mass adoption.
They’re available through Kickstarter for $199 (shipping ~ May 2017), and apparently they’re also useful for listening to Taylor Swift or talking to your mother, although they can’t make either less painful like they can with understanding what’s being said.
Why it’s hot:
I told myself I wouldn’t write about technology that can give us “superhuman” capabilities this week, but it was unavoidable. Beyond just being able to understand what’s being said next to you on the subway, communication can break down barriers as they say. Being able to understand a stranger who doesn’t speak your language can not only make you feel more comfortable in a new and unfamiliar place, it can also make you feel more comfortable with a new and unfamiliar type of person.