An advanced system that brings Sci-Fi into our world.
In this ever-evolving multicultural world, it’s good to be prepared for multilingual situations. There are some basic options available like Google Translate, but sometimes that’s not enough. Timekettle, a company dedicated to providing handheld translators with amazing user experiences, has created a new way to communicate with people who speak a language different than you — the WT2 Plus AI Translator Earbuds.
The WT2 Plus AI Translator Earbuds are designed to provide people with the ability to speak their natural language and still carry on a person-to-person conversation. Each person wears one of the earbuds and can communicate seamlessly. There are three modes to choose from – Simul, Touch, and Speaker. WT2 Plus supports cross-language conversation for up to 4 people with one single mobile device. The earbuds include dual noise reduction technology, high accuracy, and a translation core. The device supports 36 different languages, 84 accents, and uses 12 data centers to guarantee solid performance. The earbuds can operate for up to 5 hours straight with a charging case that provides 2-3 full battery recharges.
Description of the Modes
- Simul Mode: Suitable for quiet environments. Each wears an earbud, speaks non-stop, translation plays continuously in the other person’s ear.
- Touch Mode: Suitable for complex environments. Touch and hold the hidden sensor to activate the translator, then say something, release to translate.
- Speaker Mode: Suitable for short conversations with strangers. Wear an earbud yourself, no need to share the other earbud. Translation plays through the speaker of the mobile phone but the translated response still plays in your ear.
I really like being able to communicate with people of all backgrounds. So, I’ve had a vested interest in the evolution of personal translators. I was very excited about the prospect of being able to have a fluid conversation using these earbuds, but the reality of the situation was somewhat different.
Overall, I’ve been impressed with the device itself. The charging case is quite a bit larger than a standard set of wireless earbuds, but it can still fit in a pocket. The earbuds are a little larger, too as they extend outward like older model Bluetooth headsets. They are comfortable to wear and Timekettle provides different ear gels and wings so that you can get the ‘right’ fit. I haven’t had a problem with them falling out of my ears, but I don’t know if I would advise these being used as one would use ‘active’ earbuds.
The instructions that are included in the box with the device indicate that you need to download the app (WT2 Plus). The Home screen shows the three different modes you can choose from. If you don’t have the earbuds connected, the only option is the Speaker Mode, which simply plays translations through the speaker of the phone. This mode is very similar to the way a service like Google Translate works. We attempted to use this function when we were at a Mexican restaurant and it didn’t work too well at picking up spoken word inside a noisy setting.
The earbuds show up as connected devices in the Device menu. They have to be taken out of their charging case in order to enter pairing mode. It’s important to note here that you pair your phone to the earbuds within the app and not through your phone’s Bluetooth device menu.
Once the earbuds are paired, you have the option to use any of the three modes. In each mode, you will choose the language that each earbud is hearing. For example, Earbud 1 is set to English because that is the language I will be speaking. Earbud 2 is set to Spanish so that our receptionist can speak in her native language. In this mode, the spoken words will appear on the screen along with the translation. The translation will be played through both earbuds.
The Simul Mode is supposed to provide users with a fluid conversation option, but it’s a little buggy from my experience using the earbuds. It does work but doesn’t always pick up the conversation correctly. It’s an odd issue since I tried the same type of phrases on the Simul Mode and Touch Modes. Touch Mode had no problem hearing me or translating my speech. But, Simul Mode only heard my speech 1 out of 5 times correctly. I’m hoping that firmware and app updates can fix the bugs because the system has the potential to be outstanding.
Given that this personal translating system gives you the option to wear a wireless earbud, I think this is my favorite option for carrying on a conversation between languages. It’s more personal and the user experience is wonderful. I think it’s best used between colleagues, friends, or family members since it requires the sharing of earbuds, but Timekettle has a really nice system built for enhancing communications.