Technology truly is changing the way we are traveling. Yes, smartphones, tablets, and computers have been having an impact on how we stay connected, entertained, and informed while abroad, but other devices are starting to play a major role in modern travel as well. Take for example a new gadget called TRAGL, which promises to revolutionize the way we interact with others while on the go.
At first glance, TRAGL resembles a Bluetooth earpiece with an extended microphone. But, it can do much more than just allow you to take phone calls while on the go. The product is actually a realtime translation device that can take your words and output them in one of up to 30 different languages, while simultaneously listening to what is said back to you and translating it in your ear. The process is reportedly fast, seamless, and accurate, making it much easier for travelers to interact with locals, even when they have only a very basic understanding of the language.
The video below does a good job explaining how it works, but in a nutshell you simply pair the TRAGL with your smartphone (iOS or Android) and connect with it via a companion app. That app allows you to change the language that you speak and the one that you want to interpret. You then speak into a mic with the words that you say coming out of a small speaker for the person that you are conversing with to hear. They can then respond back to you, which is picked up by another mic, and then automatically translated and played back in the wearer’s ear. Noise cancelling technology cuts down on background noise and allows the device to focus on the person that you are having a conversation with, which in theory should play out fairly naturally.
Live translators like TRAGL aren’t exactly new, but the design of this device makes it more convenient than others that I’ve seen. For instance, you only need one TRAGL to make it work, where as most other devices like this require both parties taking part in the conversation to be wearing a translator. It also comes with built-in voice recognition and can auto-detect languages too. It even has an offline mode that doesn’t require a data connection for it to work, although there are more languages available when in online mode. Those languages include: Arabic, Bengali, Danish, Dutch, Catalan, Chinese, English, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Korean, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu. Of those, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Korean. are all available when offline.
Right now, the designers behind TRAGL are looking to crowdfund the device and have launched an Indiegogo campaign to get it into production. In just a few days, they’ve already raised $50,000, which is five times the amount they were seeking. That means the device should go into production later this year and begin shipping in October. Prices start at low as $188 for early bird supporters.