Recently I came across two pieces of technology I believe can change how we interact in the world. Both are geared towards communication, however they address different problems. First is SignAloud, created by some MIT students to allow people use use sign language to communicate audibly. Second is Pilot (smart earpiece), which could allow people who speak different languages to speak directly to each other without learning a new language.

SignAloud won’t have as significant an impact as Pilot, unless you are a person who relies on sign language to communicate. In short, the user would put on a set of gloves that track their hand gestures (signing), and a digital audio rendering of what they are signing would start to play (it can also render digital text). Check out the video below.

Pilot is extremely exciting, and after watching their video I wonder why something similar hasn’t already been invented. After all, we literally thought of this problem and speculated its solution in movies like Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. Currently you need each user to have a single ear piece in their ear, and be interfaced with a smart phone. Now, simply talk to each other. The results are pretty amazing, see the video below.

Although currently the languages available are limited: English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. Waverly Labs plans on adding: Germanic, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Slavic, East Asian, and African Languages by Fall 2017. Obviously the applications of this product are numerous. Aside from the tourist, there are many Law Enforcement, and Military applications. As a Customs and Border Protection Officer I regularly have to rely on a human, or telephonic translators. I’d love to be able to ask questions in any language, any time. Having this product in the Military would have meant we didn’t need a local translator with us on missions, perhaps making us more capable (we wouldn’t be limited by the physical capabilities of the translator).

If you are interested in the Pilot they are currently involved in crowd funding via indiegogo, take a look at their page here. I can’t wait to see this product once it reaches mass production, I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventual became stand issue equipment. A little more about this product.

What are you thoughts on SingAloud, or Pilot? Will these products make the impact I believe they will?

(Featured image courtesy of Waverlylabs.com)