Let’s admit it, not everyone speaks English.
There is a study showing that only 20% of the world population speaks English, and most of them aren’t even native English speakers. If you have been traveling around, you’ll know that it’s not easy to communicate with people who speak other languages. In fact, there was a time I went to Japan where I find it hard to communicate with a restaurant server in English, neither is able to understand her deeper meaning in a simple English conversation.
That said, the problem can be solved pretty simple with Google Translate right? Yes, we knew it, but it’s not simple enough — you’ll need a solid internet connection at the very least. Likewise to many translation apps and devices.
TRAGL is a live translator device to do the job. Unlike many translators, TRAGL is not a hand-held device and it can be worn around your ears just like your headset but single sided. The elongated front mic instantly picks up your semantic words and automatically translating it via the front speaker, and vice versa. This device comes with 4 hours of battery in a single charge.
In the section below, we will dissect in detail of whether you should buy this device and what are the limitation and potential risk to take note before you buy it.
Review and discussion – Should you buy TRAGL Translator?
First, let’s talk about this “non-intrusive” translator. So, it has a long microphone/speaker design where to better receiving the voice directly from your mouth. Apart from the sense of fashion, wearing one of these on the street sure make you stand out from the crowd instantly, as if you are telling everybody that you’ve forgotten to take the mic off after your customer service session.
Does it really non-intrusive? It’s hard to tell, but it’s not while you’re wearing a glass, helmet, headphone, drinking water, or doing any related task.
Due to the fact that it has a distance limitation where to detect/translate in just a few feet away, the further you’re from the second person, the device may fail to pick up the words or even get disturbed from the noises. For that, I would suggest creator to come out with a demo video showing that TRAGL can really filter out noises in the crowd from the respective distances.
About the distance, another concern would be on the Bluetooth connection to the TRAGL app (via your smartphone). App connection is a must-have in order for this device to work properly. Although it uses the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology where to give you a longer distance for up to 200 meters (outdoor), if your smartphone somehow fails to connect or run out of battery, TRAGL is none other than a decorate.
Accuracy – AI
Accuracy is another anticipating point in the software development of this device. Very often, many translator devices tend to capture into the wrong semantic meaning when being translating from one language to the other. One example would be the demo video of TRAGL showing the device translating a guys speaking of Russia to Chinese. The translation was slightly misleading (in meaning) and inaccurate.
This is a common word-to-word translating problems in many translators. It’s depending on how smart the system to pick up the deeper meaning and translate it into the similar meaning. While it’s too early to judge from just a demo video, TRAGL is currently having 10 languages (for offline) in a short period of time so the translation quality is not highly expected. That said, other translators take months or years to really dig into the deeper meaning for just one language.
Not to mention there are dialects and slangs.
That brings us to the limited language library side of TRAGL. For now, TRAGL is offering only 10 languages that support offline translation. If you have access to the internet, it will be able to support up to 30 languages. However, that makes it not much different from using Google Translate with your smartphone.
In fact, Google Translate actually has an offline mode where you can download the desired languages beforehand and use it in your oversea trip.
We know the moment of delay is awkward, that’s why TRAGL has a translation speed of 1-2 sec. For sure, it’s not even considered fast when many other translator devices like this one are already doing this speed.
The fastest so far is one that called ili translator which claimed to be the fastest offline translator with only 0.2 sec respond time for each translation. So, it’s almost in an instant. Here is a link to the ili official website if you would like to know more.
In overall, is TRAGL translator worth it? Yes and no. Except the things mentioned above, TRAGL doesn’t come cheap, it’s $188 (excluding customs duty and shipping fee) for early bird. In terms of quality and overall performance, TRAGL is still in a development stage and is very much a distal away in compared to the established ili translator. However, the use of this thoughtful hands-free design allowing people to speak naturally without having to constantly interrupted by a hand-held translator is certainly a plus for this new translator.