Waverly labs pilot

Press - Waverly Labs

(English) Geardiary

Listen & Converse with Waverly Labs’ Ambassador


(English) 9to5mac

Waverly Labs Ambassador claims to be smartest wearable translator yet, at $99


(English) Wareable

Waverly Labs returns with Ambassador - a cheaper, smarter language translator


(English UK) Observer / Guardian

Is the era of artificial speech translation upon us?


(Spanish) W Radio

Vicepresidente de productos de waverly labs da a conocer los audífonos traductores


(French) Echo Touristique

[CES 2019] Traduction dans l’oreillette : une voix d’avenir pour les touristes


(French) Usine Digitale

[CES 2019] Bientôt plus besoin d’apprendre les langues, les traducteurs vocaux en temps réel arrivent !


(English) AARP

Two Tech Entrepreneurs Survive AARP ‘Shark Tank’ at CES


(English) Wired



(English) WSJ

Can Smart Earbuds Instantly Translate Foreign Speech?


(English) Digital Trends

From translating hearing aids to sign-language gloves, amazing assistive tech


(English) BBC

How translation apps iron out embarrassing gaffes


(English) Metro News UK

Audio dynamite! The listening landscape is getting a futuristic makeover


(English) Wareable

Waverly Labs Pilot review


(English) Wareable

I went on a date wearing translation earbuds and it was wildly awkward


(English) Wareable

Waverly Labs talks Pilot rollout and why it isn't scared of Google just yet


(English) The Future of Work

Translating AI into the language of business


(Greek) Liberal

Pilot: Ένα ακουστικό που μεταφράζει ξένες γλώσσες σε πραγματικό χρόνο


(English) Interesting Engineering

In depth look at current advances in artificial intelligence


(English) The Chive

13 Small Inventions That You'll see in the Future


(English) Wareable

Biggest Wearable Crowdfunding Success Stories of All Time


(Video) (French) Les Echos

The Pilot, l’oreillette connectée qui traduit en temps réel


(English) Gizmodo UK

Waverly Labs' Translation Earpieces Go on Sale This Summer


(Finnish) Tekniikan Maailma

Jälleen yksi sci-fi-elokuvista tuttu laite muuttuu todeksi – kuulokkeet kääntävät vieraskielistä puhetta reaaliajassa


(English) DailyMail UK

Don't panic! $249 'BabelFish' Pilot earphones can translate foreign languages in real-time


(French) Ubergizmo



(English) Yahoo! Finance

These earphones can translate live speech into five different languages


(English) Dezeen

Waverly Labs' Pilot earpiece promises to translate languages in real time


(English) Financial Times UK

Language tool that can make you a citizen of the world


(Chinese) 360doc



(Portuguese) MSN.com

Pilot, o fone de ouvido inteligente que traduz frases (quase) em tempo real


(German) Stylight

Nie wieder lost in Translation: Dieses Gadget ist der erste Simultanübersetzer der Welt!


(Croatian) Jutarnji

IZUM KOJI ĆE PROMIJENITI SVIJET Dosad je ova slušalica bila moguća samo u 'Zvjezdanim stazama', od svibnja ćete je za oko 2000 kuna moći imati i vi!


(English) Mic.

Pilot, the real-time universal translator, is straight out of a sci-fi novel


(English) Entrepreneur Middle East

The Smart Earpiece Could Help Break Down Language Barriers


(Russian) Metro News

Metro рассказывает о гаджетах, которых можно ожидать в 2017 году


(Hebrew) Calcalist

באבל פישי: מהפכה בעולם התרגום או עוד הבטחה ריקה?


(Portuguese) Correio Braziliense

Startup norte-americana cria fone de ouvido que traduz diversos idiomas


(Spanish) El Pais

Pilot, el auricular inteligente que traduce conversaciones en (casi) tiempo real


(English) Medgadget

Waverly Labs: Breaking Down Language Barriers to Improve How Healthcare Providers Deliver Care


(Spanish) Digital Trends Español

Waverly Labs lanza un audífono que traduce al instante


(Spanish) Sopitas.com

Conozcan a Pilot, el primer dispositivo que traduce idiomas en tiempo real



Языковые границы окончательно стираютсяПосмотреть полностью


(Russian) Вести.Ru

Новое устройство в скором времени позволит забыть о языковом барьере


(German) n-tv.de

Wie ein Babelfisch im Ohr: Ohrstöpsel übersetzen simultan


(German) STERN.de

Mit diesem Gerät verstehen Sie jede Sprache der Welt


(Portuguese) Observador

Dispositivo permite falar com quem não fala a mesma língua que nós


(Portuguese) Terra

Fone promete traduzir qualquer idioma em tempo real


(Italian) GQItalia.it

Questi auricolari traducono da tutte le lingue in tempo reale


(Spanish) El Español

Pilot, el audífono que traduce a tiempo real


(Spanish) Los 40

Olvídate de aprender idiomas con The Pilot


(Spanish) Taringa!

El dispositivo que traduce todos los idiomas en tiempo real


(French) Le Figaro

The Pilot, des oreillettes de traduction quasiment en temps réel


(French) Sciences et Avenir

Une oreillette qui traduit les conversations en temps réel


(French) We Demain

En traduisant en temps réel, ces oreillettes pourraient effacer la barrière des langues


(French) Konbini

Pilot, le traducteur qui vous chuchote toutes les langues à l'oreille


(English) Inc.com

What to Expect From Your Instant, In-Ear Language Translator


(English) Matador Network

This translation earpiece allows you to have a conversation with someone speaking a language you don’t understand


(English) Fox News

Wearable translation device promises a science-fiction future, almost


(English) NY Mag

41 Companies Imagining the Future From a Brooklyn Shipyard


(English) Fortune.com

6 New, Cool Travel Products You’ll Want for Your Next Vacation


(English) ENGINEERING.com

Can This Device Be the Universal Translator?


(English) Popular Science

This Earpiece Will Prevent You From Ever Being Lost In Translation Again


(English) Nerdist

Amazing Translation Device is a Real Life Babel Fish


(English)The Atlantic

Could Two People Use Real-Time Translation to Fall in Love?


(English) CNET

Pilot Bluetooth earpiece crowdfunds the dream of universal, instant language translation


(English) Forbes

Star Trek's Universal Translator? Waverly Labs Pilot Smart Earpiece Might Be It


(English) Bored Panda

In-Ear Device That Translates Foreign Languages In Real Time


(English) The Huffington Post

This Earpiece Translates Foreign Languages For You In Real Time



Waverly Labs Pilot review

If you thought the wireless earbud space began and ended with Apple's AirPods, think again. With better smarts and often more appealing designs, alternatives from startups are truly on the rise, Waverly Labs' Pilot earbuds being a prime example.

Since the AirPods launched over a year ago, we've seen hearables continue to mature, honing in on sound augmentation and fitness tracking. But it's perhaps the push into real-time language translation that has garnered the most buzz within the space.

Read this: Waverly Labs' CEO on why he's not scared of Google just yet

And after launching its Indiegogo campaign almost two years ago and raising a whopping $4,426,011, New York startup Waverly Labs is finally preparing to roll out its $249 Pilot — a pair of translation earbuds that aim to break down the barrier of language and help strangers from around the world more freely communicate.

We've been living with the Pilot for the past few weeks and testing out its translation capabilities, sound quality and design to discover whether this is truly a hearable that opens doors.

Waverly Labs Pilot: Design and fit

The pull of the Pilot is naturally the translation element, but the fact remains that there are more aspects to consider when looking at a hearable. And since this is something that will be invading your ear-space and sitting on show at all times, the design is crucial.

There are two earbuds — coming in a set of black, white or red — which fit into either ear. A button sits on top of both for on/off, pairing and play/pause functions, depending on how long it's held down.

We've seen some pretty polarising designs fill the space over the past couple of years — not just from Apple and Google, but also through the likes of Sony's Xperia Ear Duo and more sporty devices which employ a neckband or around-ear element. By contrast, Pilot offers something more in line with the what should become the standard within the industry — small and unobtrusive earbuds. Take off the rubber bud and one of the earpieces is roughly the same size as a quarter, and that means they don't stick out too much when inserted, much like the Bragi Dash Pro.

And while they're sleek to look at, the fit is good too. When we first tried the Pilot, we were concerned that there was too much open room in the ear. But after switching over the to the bigger rubber buds (you'll get three different sizes within the box to choose from), things have been considerably more snug, which has also led to a vast sound improvement — more on that later.

It speaks to the importance of finding the right bud, but, regardless, the Pilot's design is impressive. We've worn plenty of hearables that can cause the ear to ache after continued use, but this manages to remain comfortable and fitted whatever the occasion.

These aren't necessarily earbuds designed for exercise, but we've experienced no issues using them in the gym while lifting weights, running, cycling, rowing, planking — you name it. You'll need to slightly twist to tighten things up from time to time, but movement isn't significant enough to cause the buds to come unhinged.

Waverly Labs Pilot: Translation

Translation isn't the easiest thing in the world to test, but we gave it a good go during our time with the Pilot earbuds. As company CEO Andrew Ochoa told us during a demo with the Pilot, though, the feature works best when each user is speaking their native language.

You'll also need to ensure you're not in too much of a chatty environment. Coffee shops and loud bars are a bit of a no-no with Pilot, since the buds are listening for a specific frequency that can often be interrupted by people talking at the same level.

As for the languages, Pilot can translate 15 of them, with regional variations also accounted for. So, take Spanish as an example — you'll have the algorithm slightly tweaked depending on whether the speaker is from a South American-speaking Spanish country (such as Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay) or, say, the US, with the option to select a dialect coming before you begin a conversation.

Charged up: Is there a missing element with translation hearables?

The main mode for the translating business, Converse, comes through the Pilot app, which a user will need to download in order before they engage in a conversation. Through this, you can either select to have a one-on-one or group chat, as well as whether the person you're speaking with will be given one of your earbuds to speak into or simply use their phone as a mic instead.

On paper, it's all great. And in practice, we've found it's been mostly solid. This is definitely still technology that's rough around the edges — for example, grammar during the read-out on the hosting smartphone can often be lost and tenses aren't always accurate — but you do intuitively pick up context during the flow of a conversation. And that feedback from the smartphone is essential to the experience, as you know you have backup if you don't quite catch the relayed translation from the earpiece in real time.

Latency also isn't too much of a problem. By the time the earbud has worked out that one user has stopped speaking, processed the sentence and then started feeding it back, you've waited around two or three seconds.

In terms of our own testing, we've trialled the buds in prolonged chats with British native speaking Spanish and a Brazilian talking in Portuguese — the latter being a complete stranger. And by comparing the two sets of conversations, we have noticed the difference between native speakers which Ochoa alluded to. It's not the biggest issue, and the Pilot can still find its way for the most part, but it didn't feel as seamless as talking with a native speaker. Words were misinterpreted more often, sometimes to the point where it was hard to gauge the true meaning of a sentence.

Going back to the point of using the Pilot in different environments - we've found that things are indeed better in quiet places, too, as Waverly itself states. As expected, when trialling in the comfort of a kitchen, with no background noise, things were more accurate than in a bar surrounded by chatter.

And as a result, we didn't even entertain breaking them out in a noisy market or busier bar, for example. And this is one of the biggest current drawbacks of the technology, because it does limit when you can break out the buds; you don't really want to have to think too much about when and when you can't use them. You want them to work well every time.

Read: Going on a date with Waverly Labs' Pilot

Technical limitations aside, when testing something like this — a burgeoning area of technology — it's also important to factor in the overarching concept itself, and not just how accurately the device is able to do its job.

The process of using language translation earbuds is still something that still feels a little uncomfortable. There's no doubt it can be helpeful, but whether you feel comfortable enough to do so on a regular basis and whether you can really have conversations in the same way as you would if you spoke the language fluently is heavily dependent on the two users' familiarity with the system.

At this point, while the technology is still in its first generation, we imagine many users of Pilot will be more comfortable with the Listen feature, which lets you hold your phone out, capture voice from the speaker and hear it back in your language. This is still in beta, but when we did trial it briefly with our Portugue-speaking Brazilian volunteer, it seemed to work just as fluently as Converse.

Waverly Labs Pilot: Sound and battery

Even the most seasoned travelers won't need to translated things all the time and, thankfully, Waverly Labs has managed to make the Pilot worth keeping in your ear even when you just want to just listen to music.

As we mentioned earlier, it's imperative that you pair the Pilot with the right buds to maximise the quality, but generally we've found the sound to be excellent. In the gym, it easily blocks out the bass of mind-melting speakers, and on the tube you'll rarely have your listening interrupted by, say, the screeching railway.

That said, there are a couple of issues with the connection that we've come across. Since the Pilots connect over Bluetooth, with the user directly connecting to one and the other pinging off that connection, you're almost definitely set to experience some inconsistencies. On pretty much every occasion we've worn the buds, there's been a warm-up process of roughly a minute whereby sound will flicker between each headphone.

If you turn your head to check traffic, or go to pick up something off the floor, this same drop-off in audio is also fairly common. Generally, we've found indoor environments to be a bit more friendly than outdoors, where there's much more Bluetooth noise, but this is true of most Bluetooth headphones.

And while it is jarring, once things are up and away you're generally in for a good experience. It's just that there are better Bluetooth headphones out there.

Pairing can also be a bit fiddly. Initially, we found that only one of the earbuds was able to connect to a phone, while the other flashed red and white on the to signify it was struggling to get a connection. However, after resetting the buds (via the slightly complicated method detailed within the app), we did find this issue smoothed itself out.

In terms of battery life, things are fairly steady here. Juice will drain more quickly if you're using hammering the translation features, but Pilot's estimation of around four hours of continuous seemed about right in testing. When we did keep them out of the case (something we imagine not many are likely to do, since that makes them easier to lose), we found that the battery life was able to stretch to around four and a half hours at most.

A quick note on that charging case: while it's not the sleekest we've seen, it does keep everything locked into place and shows you when your buds are fully juiced. As we say, it's not the prettiest, but it does the job.


Waverly Labs' 'Pilot' Earpiece Translates Spoken Language

In May 2016 (and again in July 2016) blogs were abuzz with news about Waverly Labs’ “Pilot” earpiece, which purportedly enables users separated by a language barrier to converse using the device and a smartphone:


Many articles described Waverly Labs’ “Pilot” as if it was already in existence, extolling its functions and often suggesting a September 2016 ship date:

Called Pilot[,] Waverly Labs is calling it the “world’s first translation earpiece”—the device is due to launch in September and features two earpieces and an app. Two users both wear a bluetooth earpiece and they can then speak to one another in different languages and each will hear it in their native tongue.

It works in near real-time although Ochoa has said it lags behind Skype Translator, the most impressive language translator out at the moment, which translates voice and video calls in real-time. Pilot does its work without having to be online though.

Users can choose between what languages they want using the app, at the moment it translates French, Spanish, Italian, and English.

This is the first generation of this tech but once it launches future iterations will include more languages. Waverly Labs also hopes to eventually bring out versions where the device will only need to listen to the world around it and then translate that, meaning no ear pieces.

We looked through Waverly Labs’ web site to see if any of the most basic questions were answered about the Pilot device: whether it existed in prototype form, for instance. As of 22 July 2016,  the latest update to the company’s blog was dated 16 May 2016 and promised more details would be provided “soon”:

This has been an incredible weekend – we’ve have over 6.5M views on facebook and 145,000 shares! We really can’t say how happy we are for the encouragement we’ve had from everyone, so really, thank you for spreading the word.

We’ve spent a long time working on this and we’re so thrilled to see that people actually want to be on this journey with us. Some of the stories we’ve received have been wonderful!

We are going to release a new video on our blog and answer all of your questions. We’ll answer questions such as: Where are we in the development stage? When will the Pilot will be ready for pre-order and delivery? Which languages are supported? What are the details on the early bird pricing and who are the contest winner(s)?

AND also, we’ll outline specifics on how the Pilot actually works. Also, if we haven’t answered your email or facebook message/comment, please forgive us – we’re doing our best to keep up.

On 17 May 2016, a Forbes contributor published a piece skeptical about the project and its promises. The author described an initial media frenzy and subsequent unexpected phone call with one of the device’s creators:

Cue a dialogue about the technology, marketing scam the press it has cultivated without any official word from the creators and the general smell of the idea. Was it a smart move by the team? Lazy journalism? I reached out expecting nothing (as many outlets had requested the same thing and been denied or not heard back)… until the CEO agreed to a call.

The author appeared more skeptical (rather than less) after speaking with CEO Andrew Ochoa (misspelled as “Ochea” throughout) and concluded:

When I asked how his team had created this seemingly miraculous tool in about a tenth of the time it has taken people like Skype to develop similar technology Ochea had this to say; “[Pilot] is using very standard models of speech translation, you’ve got three major technologies working in tandem, speech recognition, machine translation and voice synthesis. We are repackaging and combining it with wearable technology to create this new paradigm.” This sounded like spin to me but I let Ochea continue which was when some backtracking began…; “We’re building a hybrid system. Some of it’s licensed and some we’ve built ourselves. We don’t want to make any promises or references that this is incredibly real-time or that we could give you an earpiece and drop you off in the middle of Tokyo. That is not what we’re trying to convey at all.”

Again I pressed Ochea on the hybrid technology area and the video they put out which caused further backtracking and clarification … I then asked Ochea about development which caused further backtracking; “It’s definitely in the late alpha stage. There’s still a lot of testing … we don’t want any comparison to Babel Fish. We didn’t expect the level of virality that we received.”

I remained dubious … Ochea continued; “We didn’t know if anyone would really we interested in it.” Alarm bells went off when this was said so I pressed him on this because no-one spends the amount of time Ochea and his team has spent on something they don’t think anyone would be interested in (nor something that has been so obsessed about and is already ‘out there’), that’s either massively naive or a lie … I’m not sure. Pilot would be brilliant technology but the backtracking and [ambiguous] launch have me extremely skeptical. A new video is due out tomorrow that is currently being cut or as I suspect recut to possibly play down expectations the original round of press has generated.

No videos emerged after the Forbes piece as promised, and the last video upload by Ochoa was on 10 May 2016. The device was over 3,000 percent funded on Indiegogo at more than 2.6 million dollars as of 25 June 2016, but it remains unclear whether an actual working prototype of a Pilot actually exists. (“Design prototypes” were mentioned on the company’s timeline.)

Waverly Labs’ Pilot wasn’t the first device of questionable authenticity to create a viral stir, only to vanish. A much-ballyhooed Cicret smartphone companion garnered an avalanche of attention, but showed no proof of a working prototype. And in the realm of software, a controversial Peeple app took over social media in the summer of 2015 but failed to materialize. 


Waverly Labs' Pilot Aims For Real-Time Translation

If you’ve been exposed to even a small dose of science fiction over the years, you’ve probably encountered at least one type of device that allows language barriers to be completely bypassed. From The Last Starfighter to Star Trek, there’s a reason this is a common trope — the idea of being able to understand anyone no matter the language is a fascinating one. Now a New York City-based company by the name of Waverly Labs is looking to make this fantasy a reality.

Google Translate and its ilk do a fine job, but with Waverly’s new Pilot wearable, the company claims to make translation effortless and instantaneous. The Pilot is a simple earpiece that, after just a slight pause, allows the wearer to hear a basic translation of multiple languages into their native tongue. It’s designed for the international traveller, but its talents could give way to a cornucopia of potential applications.

One of the key features of the Pilot is that Waverly Labs intends to make it function completely offline. A companion mobile app is used to download language packs and toggle the language within the earpiece, and also functions as the “brains,” but translation doesn’t rely on an internet connection to work. The Pilot’s second earpiece can even connect to its companion for music playback when the translation function is not in use.

According to the company’s website, the Pilot will ship with support for select languages out of the box, with other languages available via downloadable packs for a separate fee. Initially, European Romance and Germanic languages will be supported, which would indicate Spanish and French (specifically indicated by Waverly), as well as Italian, English, and possibly German. The product is still in its nascent stages, however, so we’ll have to wait for more specifics there. Among other language additions mentioned on the Waverly Labs website are Slavic, Semitic, Hindi and East Asian. In the company’s low-res promo video, we can see creator Andrew Ochoa speaking with a friend in French/English.

If you’re looking to try out the Pilot in person, you’ll have to be patient. Waverly Labs intends to launch a pre-order campaign for the Pilot on Indiegogo starting May 25, with the wearable selling for $300 — not including Early Bird pricing. Even if the campaign is successful, however, the Pilot isn’t planned to ship until the spring of 2017, assuming there are no delays along the way.

Fortunately, there will be a way to at least get an idea of how the Pilot will work. The company is planning to release a mobile app this summer, which Waverly Labs says will function as a “phrasebook” for travelers. The company says this will be included in the pre-order for the Pilot earpiece, but hasn’t yet said if it will be available separately.

As always with crowdfunded projects, we’ll have to wait for the final product to hit our hands (and ears) before we can fully endorse Waverly’s big idea. But if the Pilot works as planned, it could be a serious game changer in the realm of modern, real-time communication — no strings attached.

Editors' Recommendations


Return Policy - Waverly Labs

At Waverly Labs, we want you to be satisfied with your purchase and we have provided this Return and Exchange Policy for your convenience. If you have questions regarding returning a Waverly Labs order, you can email us at [email protected]


We will refund your full purchase price at any time while we are in our Pre Order Period (the period of time during final development and prior to our official shipping date).

After our Pre Order Period expires we will accept merchandise for a refund of the purchase price, less any shipping costs within 14 days of the delivery date.

We will process your return and refund within 14 business days of receipt and inspection and apply a credit to your original payment method. A credit will appear on your next statement, depending on the issuing bank and billing cycle. If we need to send you a refund check please add an additional 10 days for processing.

We offer refunds for in-app purchases on physical goods (i.e., the Pilot™ earpiece) only, and not on any software or downloads.

Sorry, shipping and handling costs are non-refundable.

Exchange Or Repair

Defective items may be exchanged or repaired at Waverly Labs discretion within 30 days of the purchase date.

Please allow 14 days for the repair or exchange to be processed.

Sorry, shipping and handling costs are the responsibility of the purchaser.

Eligibility Conditions

The following eligibility conditions apply for both a refund and an exchange, and Waverly Labs reserves the right to refuse a refund or exchange if these terms are not met. All returned items must be in new condition, in their original unaltered box and must include all packing material, cords, software (if any), blank warranty cards, manuals and accessories. Waverly Labs can only refund the original purchase price.

Shipping and handling fees are nonrefundable.

Refund or Exchange Procedure

Get an RMA Number (Return Merchandise Authorization) and Return Label before the refund or exchange can be processed by emailing us at [email protected]

Place your item back into the original manufacturer’s packaging. Then place it and the original invoice from when you purchased the item into an outer shipping box. Be sure to pack it properly so your item won’t get damaged. Damages in transit will be your responsibility.

Securely affix your return label to the outside of the shipping package and be sure to write the RMA Number on the outer packaging. Return shipping fees are the responsibility of the customer. We recommend you ship via insured ground service with a tracking number. We cannot be responsible for lost or damaged packages. We will notify you upon our receipt of your package.

For refunds during the Pre Order Period, please contact us at [email protected]

Our return address is:

Waverly Labs, Inc.____________________________________________Attn: RETURNS

RMA # _______________

Last updated: March 1, 2017© Waverly Labs Inc. 2019. All rights reserved.


Waverly Labs Pilot earpiece translates languages on the fly


Waverly Labs has a very interesting product that may one day help to eliminate the language barrier between people around the world. The device is an earpiece called Pilot that looks rather like a large Bluetooth earpiece. The Pilot can in fact be used as earbuds for streaming wireless music, but its real function is to translate the language that you hear in spoken form.

Waverly Plans to raise money to build the Pilot via Indiegogo with its mobile app serving as a basic phrasebook for translation while traveling out this summer. The Pilot earpiece itself will ship in the Spring of 2017. The Pilot ships with the main unit for translation and a second unit for stereo music streaming, a portable battery charger, and an app that toggles the languages the earpiece can translate.

Waverly Labs plans to sell the earpieces for $299 with select languages included. Exactly what those select languages are we don’t know. Additional languages will be offered as downloadable packs with business solutions available on a license model that is based on volume. To start, supported languages will include European based romance and Germanic languages.

Other languages will come later with plans to support Slavic, Semitic, Hindi, and East Asian. As or writing the Indiegogo project to raise money for the headset hasn’t launched. With spring nearly gone and summer right around the corner, it will need to launch soon to keep up with the promised timeline. The Indiegogo page for the project is here. Interestingly there is no mention of support for Spanish, which is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the US. You can sign up for more information and to order when available directly from the Waverly Labs website.

SOURCE: Waverly Labs


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