I've spotted some amazing new tech devices in development that not long ago would have belonged in science fiction.
One is an instant translator in an earbud, called The Pilot. There are no wires or cables and it works even without wifi (probably via a smartphone app). It translates whatever someone says to you.
For now, the languages that will be covered are English, Italian, Spanish and French but other languages will be added.
If you've ever used Google Translate (which is free), you'll know that these will not be grammatically correct translations, but good enough to make sense of what someone is saying to you. Or about you, if they think you don't speak their language (I think of my cartoon as taking place in Paris).
I guess if you're communicating with someone who doesn't speak your language you'd have to carry around an extra earbud for them to use, otherwise it's going to be a one-way conversation. Even so, what a boon for people who travel.
Skype is working on a similar process that will translate what the other person in your Skype conversation is saying; at the moment, it seems to be available in beta form only for Windows users.
The Pilot crowdfunding campaign will start on May 25, 2016, on IndieGoGo, with a probable early bird price of $129, going up to $299 when it's actually available, toward the end of this year.
You can find out more at the Waverly Labs website: http://www.waverlylabs.com/#_overview
It's worth noting that not all products that use crowdfunding actually see the light of day. Some have failed to deliver, and the early buyers lost their money. Others take a lot longer to be available than predicted--one that I funded was a year late.