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Waverly Labs’ new translation tech targets both consumers and businesses

The smorgasbord of announcements at CES 2022 is dominated by flashy hardware in diverse forms and cool software for the days to come. But there are a few reveals sprinkled in between the mad rush that focus more on the immediately practical side of things. One such instance comes from Waverly Labs, a company specializing in translation tech that announced three impressive products at CES.

Let’s start with the Ambassador Interpreter 2.0, an updated version of its over-the-ear wearable that is said to translate speech almost in real time. Waverly Labs’ tech supports audio and text translation in more than 20 languages and 42 dialects. And if the company’s claims are anything to go by, the Ambassador Interpreter 2.0 can facilitate free-flowing conversations in which multiple users hear translated versions of speech in different languages simultaneously.

A personal on-ear translator

Waverly Labs Ambassador Interpreter 2 device.

This is not offline translation, though. All the text or voice input is first uploaded to the cloud, where Waverly Labs’ translation system does its magic and relays back the translated version, all in a matter of seconds. And to truly enhance the sharing potential of its translation gizmo, Waverly Labs created a specific Bluetooth protocol that allows multiple Ambassador Interpreter 2.0 units to connect with a single smartphone.

In the Listen Mode, translations are delivered as an audio input via the on-ear gadget, while a text version simultaneously appears in the companion app. This mode is suited for one-on-one conversations where the speaker is within a 2.5-meter range and translation happens automatically in the listener’s native language.

In the Lecture Mode, the broadcaster’s speech is translated and relayed to multiple users via the app. And finally, there is the Conversation Mode, which lets up to four people engage in a cross-language conversation and understand each other without language barriers getting in the way. Ambassador Interpreter 2.0 is now up for grabs for $179 and is sold in pairs.

One for the walls

Waverly Labs Subtitles device.

Waverly Labs’ second offering is called Subtitles, and it’s a device tailor-made for professional settings in the pandemic era. This one is a two-sided display that listens to the speaker on either side of a physical partition, translates it into the language selected by the person on either side of it, and shows the results in text form. Waverly says the translation happens in “near real time,” and that the tech is ideal for hospitals, restaurants, banks, and similar businesses. It will be available in the next quarter, but there’s no word on the pricing as of now.

Listening to the room

Waverly Labs Audience app.

The last Waverly Labs offering is Audience, an app that is suited for conferences and large meetings where language barriers are a serious hurdle for attendees. The app brings a translated version of the speaker’s audio stream captured by the mic straight to the mobile phones of audience members with minimal lag. All one has to do is scan a QR code, set up their preferred language, and they’re ready to understand what the speaker is saying as audio or text. The app will be released in the next quarter.

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