In-ear, real-time translation is no longer science fiction

Google's Pixel Buds prove that in-ear, real-time translation is now science fact.

In-ear, real-time translation is no longer science fiction

Science fiction fans may be dancing in their spandex space costumes, but the real winners here are travellers to foreign countries, with Google’s Pixel Buds proving that in-ear, real-time translation is now science fact.

No longer will you feel like an alien in another land. No longer will you have to pee in the bushes because you couldn’t understand that nice little lady on the corner who was trying to tell you where the toilet was. Foreign languages will soon be obsolete. That’s how cool Google’s new Bluetooth Pixel Buds could be.

Designed to pair with the Google Pixel phone, Google's ‘buds’ are not just a cute pair of headphones, they also offer a real-time translation feature that's basically like having a multilingual Jiminy Cricket in your ear.

Simply touch the right ear bud to activate Google Assistant and say, “Google, help me speak Japanese”.

Then speak into the phone in English and your phone app will transcribe the sentence in Japanese and say it out loud for you to speak or play to the listener. Your interlocutor can also speak Japanese (or up to 40 other languages – but most likely not Klingon) into the phone and have it translated into English (or up to 40 other languages).

You can also take photos of signs and say, food menus, and have them transcribed for you. Same goes for transcribing speech to text for your foreign reader. Like I said: so cool!

You can pick up a pair of these for under $250, but you’ll need the Pixel phone for them to work. Might be time to switch from your old iPhone?

How handy would these be for you? Would a pair of these Pixel Buds mean you might travel more often to non-English speaking countries?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    21st Apr 2018
    Great I want one. But I hope It does better at understanding me than my car.
    21st Apr 2018
    It was only a matter of time until one enterprising company would come up with this piece of tech. Up to 40 languages available is quite adequate from the starting blocks, due to the fact that there are very few individuals who are fluent in that many languages. Most people who can speak other languages can only do so in 1 or 2 after much serious 7 long study. Often even then just to get by in rudimentary conversation without causing offence.

    There is one big stumbling block though. Google tech is pretty good & these new pixel ear buds may prove to work rather well. However, at $250 they ain't that inexpensive on initial purchase, but here's the rub; then you have to fork out hundreds more for the accompanying phone the ear buds are compatible with. So overall, you're looking at least up to a grand for a complete decent package.

    Oh yeah: hey Tib, don'tchya know your car only speaks Mech, (mechanical). Maybe the p b's will " learn " that tongue too if it's smart enough. Then you'll be savin big dollars every time it breaks down.

    Cheers everyone.
    21st Apr 2018
    I was actually talking about the voice recognition software used to activate my phone which has a bluetooth connection with my car. The problem is it continuously misunderstands me when I ask it to call different numbers, I hope this tech has a better understanding of accents than the stuff in my car.
    21st Apr 2018
    Why not just get Google Translate on your phone. It will do most of this. Problem is that for the voice bit to work you need to be on-line, which could be expensive overseas. Text and camera works off-line which is great.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles