Lingmo International, an Australian technology start-up, has launched Translate One2One, an earpiece powered by IBM Watson that can efficiently translate spoken conversations within seconds, being the first of its kind to hit global markets next month.
With estimates indicating that businesses lose upwards of $2 billion in the United States and £48 billion in the United Kingdom each year due to language barriers, this technology will meet a growing gap for businesses and consumers alike.
Unveiled at last week’s United Nations Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Good Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, the Translate One2One earpiece supports translations across English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Chinese. Available to purchase today for delivery in July, the earpiece carries a price tag of $179 USD, and is the first independent translation device that doesn’t rely on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity.
With IBM Watson’s Natural Language Understanding and Language Translator APIs, the intuitive technology overcomes many of the contextual challenges associated with common languages, as well as understanding the nuances of local slang and dialects. For example, in Spanish ‘LL’ could be pronounced “y”, “j” or “sh”, depending on the dialect.
“By eliminating the friction of the traditional translation process, devices like Translate One2One will not only remove one of the biggest challenges for professionals when meeting and collaborating between cultures, but also offers enormous potential for communities around the world,” said Danny May, Lingmo’s Founder and Director. “As the first device on the market for language translation using AI that does not rely on connectivity to operate, it offers significant potential for its unique application across airlines, foreign government relations and even not-for-profits working in remote areas.”
In addition to the translation earpiece, which works when each user is wearing the earpiece, customers can download an app version, which also includes a currency converter.
“It’s an absolute game-changer for the global translation market, offering significant potential for both commercial and social benefit, which we’ve only just begun to explore,” said Neil Sahota, IBM Watson Master Inventor and keynote speaker at the Summit. “Lingmo’s latest breakthrough demonstrates the transformative potential that cognitive computing platforms like Watson can offer in solving some of the world’s largest and most persistent challenges.”