Waverly Labs announced this week that it’s hit the $5 million mark for preorders of its futuristic in-ear translator, the Pilot.
Based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s New Lab, Waverly Labs was founded by Andrew Ochoa, who says he got the idea for the real-time translator when he met a French girl but had trouble communicating (she makes an appearance in the Pilot’s IndieGoGo video). The product combines souped-up earbuds with a phone app, allowing the receivers and transmitters to communicate.
“The translation process occurs using speech recognition, machine translation and machine learning as well as speech synthesis technologies,” according to the company. “The second earpiece returns the translation. This all happens simultaneously without interruption, as each person speaks to one another.”
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The company’s crowdfunding campaign began a year ago. It resulted in more than 25,000 orders. It expects to begin shipping products this fall.