Next Big Thing: Talk to anyone in any language

Pocket-friendly translator Travis will change the way you travel

Felt alone recently?

That’s the funny thing about new tech – it’s almost always used to chat to the same old people, only now with GIFs, emojis or pictures of our junk. Sometimes that’s amazing, but it can also be disheartening. Especially when you didn’t ask for the three-inch wonder that’s just slid into your DMs. So Travis is here to prove there’s more to the world by recognising and translating speech in over 80 languages. Just take this plastic widget with you on your travels and you’ll be able converse with pretty much whoever you please.

Haven’t I seen this thing before?

Probably, if we had a penny for every ‘instant translation’ device we’ve seen so far this year then we’d have enough cash for at least one Freddo. Maybe even a caramel one. What makes Travis different? Apart from that ridiculous name and the fact its Indiegogo campaign has received over US$600,000 of backing at the time of writing, it’s the sheer scale of its talents. As well as being able to speak all those languages, it can work for 12 hours without charging, uses either a speaker or headphones, and learns the more you use it. How? Artificial intelligence, of course.

Can I get one in time for my summer hols?

Probably not. Travis is scheduled to start shipping to its backers this September, but look on the bright side: holidays will be a lot cheaper once the hobbit-sized yobs are back in school. And who knows, it might just arrive in time for that sojourn to the Caribbean that you’ve got planned. The good news is that if you order now you should be able bag yourself a Travis for US$149 (around ₹9,500), which is a big saving on its current retail price. Bad news: no stranger is going to want to rub in your sun cream for you. No matter how politely you ask in Spanish, French or Dutch.

Check out Travis on Indiegogo here