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

Fresh off last week's hyped-up teaser, the Indiegogo page for Waverly Labs' Pilot instant translation earpiece is now open and ready for your contribution.

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Waverly Labs says its Pilot earpiece can translate language in real-time with minimal lag.

Waverly Labs

We usually try to avoid feeding the crowdfunding hype-machine, but the Pilot language translating earpiece by Waverly Labs is too cool not to mention, especially because the Indiegogo page is now available for preorder. The concept realizes the dream of an instant, universal language translation device that's shown up in so many science-fiction movies that it's practically become a Hollywood trope.

Here's how the Pilot will (hopefully) work: the hardware has two separate earpieces that connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. You can use them together to listen to music as wireless earbuds, or you can hand one to another person, fire up the app, and begin a conversation while it translates your partner's speech in real time.

Waverly Labs will sell the earpieces with language packages for English, Spanish, French and Italian included for free. Additional languages will be available for download later for an additional fee and the company is considering licensing packages to businesses in bulk as well. The smartphone will store the language databases locally, so the app doesn't need an Internet connection to work.

The Pilot system is available to preorder now on the Indiegogo page -- earlybirds get special pricing starting at $129 for now, and the package includes two Pilot earpieces, a portable charger and the app. In terms of delivery schedule, Waverly Labs is looking to release the app first this summer, with the earpieces arriving later this fall or early winter.

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The earpieces will be available in three colors at launch.

Waverly Labs

As always, please note that CNET's reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or its creators. Contributing to a crowdfunded project comes with risk. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site's policies, such as those for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, to learn more about your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.