There are quite a lot of mobile apps and portable translators capable of interpreting words so you can understand whatever the other guy is saying. However, these services can only handle one interpretation at a time, for example, English to Spanish, and not vice versa without changing settings. And then WT2 Plus language translator happened.Buy on Amazon
A startup that goes by the name Timekettle has developed these wireless earbuds that allow the other person to talk freely regardless of the language and the interpretation happens in real-time for both talkers. Pretty cool, huh?
Design and Hardware
The WT2 Plus is literally two Bluetooth earpieces with a pod-like charging dock. The elongated, oblong shape and all-white color of the earpieces mirror Apple’s AirPods, but they are much more chunky. Using the charging case, they can be completely recharged three times before you need to plug the latter into a socket and operate on a complete charge for five hours.
The WT2 Plus is all plastic, which gives it a reasonably inexpensive feel, but the earpieces fit easily into your ears; six other foam tips are included in the kit to fit different ear types.
Features and Software
The companion app, available on iOS or Android, would have to be downloaded by WT2 users. It’s short and quick to connect the app with the earpieces, and once done, the earpieces are ready to communicate.
Timekettle has been improving the algorithm for the past two years, which incorporates machine learning to understand voices and accents. .It says that its software can translate and understand 36 different languages, including English, Mandarin, Spanish, Dutch, Greek, German, Russian, Japanese, Thai, and Cantonese.
It’s easy to use the WT2 Plus: each person puts on an earpiece, uses the app to set the two languages they speak, and begins conversing. In real-time, the software will process each language and pump out the interpretation via the earpiece of the other person.
The WT2 Plus’ point is that without the need to continually adjust the course of interpretation, it makes a free-flowing, back-and-forth dialogue.
However, WT2 Plus isn’t perfect. You would need an internet connection to do it, and there is a 10-to 15-second lag between the moment one side finishes speaking and the transcription of their speech starts to play with their interlocutor.
If handling an earpiece to another user is not optimal, the WT2 Plus software has a backup feature. This alternate approach displays interpreted speech on the phone’s monitor in written form, meaning users can simply show their phone screen to others instead of wearing an earpiece.
Is WT2 Plus Worth It?
The WT2 Plus is marginally overpriced at $210. Although the real-time interpretation is cool, in the end, Google Translate will do the same thing on a smartphone, but at a slower speed. Given the 10-to 15-second pause between when the user finishes speaking and the interpretation starts, I can’t imagine this being used for more than short conversations. Still, the technology behind it is impressive, especially the software algorithm that allows the WT2 Plus to ignore people who speak other languages so that they don’t interfere with a two-language conversation.