Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Will a Polish product revolutionize the world? I tested it before the premiere

When we hear about trade fair news and innovations, we often have to divide the information in half or even into four parts, because many of them are concepts that are still being prepared. Their market debut is uncertain, and the project itself is often at the mercy of investors. But what if we are talking about an already operating company supported by a company with an established position on the market?

The company is Polish, and the gadget is a handset that can speak up to 64 languages ​​in real time during a conversation or conference. At this point, many of us will say that the end of language learning has come. And there is something to it, because at least on paper this idea revolutionizes communication. And what is it like in reality? I had the opportunity to check it out.

During my first contact with the handset at the Vasco stand at CES, I saw a case containing two headphones – but don’t be fooled by this pair, as both fit only in the right ear. The user puts on one earphone and the other goes to his interlocutor. , each of which is capable of translating a different language in real time. There are over 60 of these available.

For operation (regardless of the number of headphones used), we need a Vasco translator or a phone with the manufacturer’s application installed. The device then acts as a hub connecting all the headphones. After proper configuration (setting our default languages ​​and pairing them with each other), we can start the conversation. The LED will inform us about the readiness of the equipment – each earphone has a different color assigned to it. The light also informs who is currently listening to the translations.

We are actually interested in only one button – soft and rubbery, located on the inside of the headphones. We activate it by pressing the handset to our head. This allows us to “speak up”, i.e. activate the translation of our speech. The solution is simple, because it is intuitive. Just like the design of the headphones, which are characterized by an over-ear design. This allows you to maintain hygiene and does not require you to put anything in your ear. However, the disadvantage is the lack of e.g. noise or any isolation from the surroundings.

And this is where I see a problem. , which is why we sometimes have to focus to properly understand the context of the statement. This may be difficult when other conversations can be heard in the background, or – even worse – a continuation of the translated statement. The tested earphone separated the sender’s statement from the translation quite well, although the message reached the recipients at different speeds, depending on the language used. This is definitely an element that requires polishing. On the other hand, sound isolation from the surroundings would not be a good idea either, so the lack of such a function can be considered a “feature”. After all, a large part of the message is non-verbal, and no translator can reproduce this at the moment. And I think we would like to know when our interlocutor raises his voice, right?

Ultimately, however, the company’s engineers work to effectively isolate the sound from the microphone so that it is noise-free. The final effect is to be achieved both in terms of hardware and software. There is some time left until the market debut, so I keep my fingers crossed that this element will be effectively improved.

When an average user thinks of a translator, they will think of the popular . What drives the Vasco handset and the company’s translators? In this case, we are talking about as many as 10 external translation engines, including Google Translate. Not every language uses the same engine – this depends on experts examining translation pairs. They assign the optimal engine for a given language. All this to ensure that each translation is as good as possible.

But not all of them are at the same level and that’s not surprising. Sure, English or German will work based on a powerful database, and we also have plenty of experts who can verify the correct operation of the engines. As he told me, some languages ​​may be in a slightly “worse” form – these are the most exotic ones, such as Kyrgyz, which I used as an example.

I mentioned earlier that, at least on paper, it looks great. And what does the practice look like? In fact, configuring the device is simple, it only requires clicking a few options on your phone or translator. And he translates – I had the opportunity to check how he works with several people, each of whom used a different language. There were some delays, but ultimately the translated message reached each handset and was read by – quite pleasantly, by the way.

However, can this handset revolutionize the market and end the need to learn foreign languages ​​once and for all? , because in some situations other solutions will simply be better. The handset will not be useful on foreign holidays, where we want to communicate at the market or when buying tickets. I mean, we can use it this way, but it will be quite cumbersome. Business meetings are much better in this case.

Conference, discussion or project discussion – we sit down with several people in one room, put on headphones and talk without having to use an interpreter. This sounds great and works well. Please remember that the gadget presented at the fair is only a prototype. Ultimately, the product will be released on the market at the turn of winter and spring this year – Importantly, it is manufactured in our country.

We are undoubtedly pleased with the recognition the product has received from foreign media and consumers. The handset in question is not a shell, an idea or a concept, but an actual product that will soon hit the market. And we know perfectly well how often in the world of technology we are sold something that ultimately will never even see the light of day.

If you manage to prepare a gadget at the mobile level, it will be a recipe for success. It is not without reason that the gadget is on the list of the most anticipated innovations. Last year, the company sold about 80,000 devices around the world and it seems that it has no intention of stopping. Maybe it’s actually better to replace a foreign language textbook with such a gadget?