The world is a global village. A global village with a mix of cultures and languages enough to make anyone’s head swim. The language barrier that comes about from that reality can still hinder some of us from navigating the world like a global village. Google seems to have finally made a device that could change the game with the Pixel Buds.
Pixel Buds are a pair of wireless headphones that Google claims can translate up to 40 different languages “in real-time.” The device is also meant to be able to help you come up with a possible response.
It is a concept that has been worked into many science fiction films; a universal translator that enables people to converse across cultures. It would open up the world even further.
Google is not the first company to work on such technology. We reported earlier on “Pilot” a wireless earpiece created by Waverly Labs
designed to translate other languages in real time so you can chat with foreigners with relative ease.
The system behind Pilot consists of two earbuds and a smartphone app that uses machine learning technology to translate between languages.
To use Google’s tech, however, all you need to do is touch and hold the right earbud to activate Google Assistant, which is available on their latest smartphone.
After Google Assistant is activated, Google Translate will then offer up a somewhat coherent translation of whatever it hears “in real-time.”
A short demonstration for the Pixel Buds in San Francisco saw the “Buds” providing a near-instantaneous translation from Swedish to English.
Quartz reported that the translation is currently processed at Google’s artificial intelligence-focused data centres, where the audio is first converted to text, translated, and then turned back into speech.
Rick Osterloh, a senior vice president of hardware at Google, wrote;
“You’ll get elegant touch controls that put the Assistant just a tap away and they’ll even help you communicate in a different language.”
The “Buds” are designed for use with their Pixel 2 smartphone, which was unveiled at the conference this Wednesday along with a range of other hardware announcements.