The concept of a device that allows for communication between people who don’t speak the same tongue has been explored many times in science fiction media, novels, games, movies and all. It allows for instant real-time translation of one language to another. In our real world, there are smartphones and apps that can help bridge such a communication barrier but only to a certain, and often limited, extent, not so much like the fantasy version. Now, this sci-fi concept is becoming a reality. An Indiegogo project, named Travis, is a handheld portable device that allows for quickly translate words from one language to another.

It supports 80 languages when it has a SIM inserted into it or with a Wi-Fi connection, and 20 languages in offline mode. Travis has the ability to let users select a preferred language and can also auto-detect languages.

Travis, the handheld translator that works with over 80 languages
Travis, the handheld translator that works with over 80 languages

The creators of the device worked with many companies to use the “best translation engines” for every language. Currently, Travis is just a prototype that is larger than a tablet, far larger than a comfortable and portable size. Though it isn’t impossible for it to be integrated into something smaller once developed.

The problem is that it currently is so cumbersome, which is cause for worry as it is just an Indiegogo project. However, even with this shortcoming, Travis has successfully raked in well over its $80,000 funding goal. The developing team said that they will soon enter the trial production phase, moving to mass production in May or June.

Travis, Real-time Translator Available to The Public

Delivery to the people that funded the project will happen sometime in July. After this summer’s phase of testing and learning, a retail launch of the device is intended to occur in the winter of 2017. Although the form factor is a little over what was expected, this could still be the first portable real-time translator made available to the public.


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