These goofy-looking earbuds are actually real-time in-ear translators

Breaking down those communication barriers may be a much quicker process than previously anticipated if Timekettle’s WT2 prove to be everything we hope they are. These earbuds aren’t meant for playing music or podcasts, but rather for communicating with people who speak a foreign language. Because not being a polyglot shouldn’t stop you from having a conversation with just about anyone in the world.

Rather than talking past one another in your respective languages, the WT2 claims to allow for real-time translation. That means that you can speak face-to-face with your fellow human, and immediately decipher his or her message without the need for a mediator. Promising natural, hands-free communication, the WT2 seeks to enable conversations in two different languages via two earphone translators and one app. Simply don one of the earphones, speak in your language, and your interlocutor will hear in theirs.

Using the WT2 looks to be pretty simple. Simply pull them out of their charging case when you’re meeting with someone who doesn’t speak the same language, and give one to your new friend. The earbuds will automatically pair with an iOS app, and begin listening for your communication. If you’re speaking in Spanish to an English speaker, your friend will hear your Spanish words in their native tongue after a short delay. And when your friend replies in English, you’ll hear said response in Spanish.

This simple and straightforward approach to real-time translation allows for more natural interactions. You’ll still be able to maintain eye contact, gesture, and use other non-verbal cues, all while understanding one another in your respective languages.

The device is actually said to work quite well. While there is a latency issue (which could make for some awkward staring), it seems as though the actual translation portion is functional. Be warned, however, that you’ll need a strong Wi-Fi connection for the WT2 to work. So if you’re climbing K2 and need to communicate with your sherpa, you might be out of luck.

Currently, the WT2 supports six languages: Mandarin Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish; but more are said to be on the way. You can pre-order a WT2 now for $149, and expect shipment in January 2018.

Home Theater

Bose’s technology patents could save an earbud’s battery life

Possibly taking a cue from Apple's popular AirPods, Bose filed a patent application for earbud IR technology that could save battery life, improve sound quality, and possibly help people locate lost earbuds.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Smart Home

What exactly is Alexa? Where does she come from? And how does she work?

While "Alexa" has become synonymous with products like the Amazon Echo, you can't actually go out and buy an "Alexa." So what is Alexa? How does she work? Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's virtual assistant.
Smart Home

Language barrier? Psh. Here's how to make your Google Home an ace translator

You can now use interpreter mode on your Google Home devices. This means, you can use your Google Home device to translate conversations in real-time. Here's how to use interpreter mode.
Smart Home

No strings attached: This levitating lamp uses science to defy gravity

Now on Kickstarter, the Levia lamp is a cool industrial-looking lamp which boasts a levitating bulb. Looking for a table light that will dazzle visitors? You've come to the right place.
Emerging Tech

The Great White Shark’s genome has been decoded, and it could help us end cancer

In a significant step for marine and genetic science, researchers have decoded the genome of the great white shark. The genetic code revealed a wealth of insight into what makes these creatures so successful from an evolutionary standpoint.
Emerging Tech

‘Guerrilla rainstorm’ warning system aims to prevent soakings, or worse

Japanese researchers have created a "guerrilla rainstorm" early-warning system aimed at preventing severe soakings, or worse. The team hopes to launch the system before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Mobile

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…
Emerging Tech

Japanese spacecraft will collect a sample from asteroid Ryugu by shooting at it

The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 will soon touch down on the asteroid Ryugu, where it will collect a sample by shooting a bullet into the soil. The sample will be returned to Earth in 2020 to learn about the formation of asteroids.
Emerging Tech

Hong Kong’s vision for a smart prison is a full-blown Orwellian nightmare

Hong Kong wants to bring prisons up to date by introducing new location-tracking wristbands for inmates, and a robot arm whose job is to comb through poop on the lookout for contraband.
Emerging Tech

No faking! Doctors can now objectively measure how much pain you’re in

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered the blood biomarkers that can objectively reveal just how much pain a patient is in. Here's why that's so important.
Emerging Tech

SeaBubbles’ new electric hydrofoil boat is the aquatic equivalent of a Tesla

What do you get if you combine a Tesla, a flying car, and a sleek boat? Probably something a bit like SeaBubbles, the French "flying" boat startup which offers a fresh spin on the hydrofoil.
Emerging Tech

We tried a $500 electronic dab rig, and now we can’t go back to normal vaporizers

Induction heating is the future of cannabis vaporizers. Loto Labs wowed us with what likely is the best concentrate vaporizer on the market today. With a $500 price tag, it's expensive, but it should definitely be your next dab rig.
Emerging Tech

Israel will launch world’s first privately funded moon mission tomorrow

This week will see the world's first privately funded lunar mission launch. Israel's first mission to the moon will be launched aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday, February 21.