Adams described a fish which could solve all the world’s translation problems: “e Babel fish is small, yellow, leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier, but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.”
Now Google has invented an ear-piece which will let you translate between English, French, Spanish and Italian in Autumn of this year.
Pilot will cost $129 (£90) and will be available for pre-order on the Google website.
It works by being connected to two different people, speaking two different languages, and translates what they are saying in your ear.
Pilot is supposedly the first ‘smart earpiece’ capable of translating between two languages.
Waverly Labs, who have developed the technology, said on their website: “This little wearable uses translation technology to allow two people to speak different languages but still clearly understand each other”.
They have not said how it works except for that it uses “translation technology” embedded in an app. So far the first generation of the device only works between two people wearing the earpieces.
However, they hope to make one which translates everything happening around you in a foreign country.
Waverly Labs, a New York-based company, said one of their technicians came up with the idea after “meeting a French girl” and wanting to communicate with her.
The company is going to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, where people who want to be the first to try this new technology can pre-order the Pilot for between $129 (£90) and $179 (£125) – whereas it’s expected to retail for between $250 (£174) and $300 (£209).