Google has just launched headphones with a real-time translation feature from Google Translate. According to The Telegraph, the ‘translation software allows users to both listen to and speak in foreign languages using their smartphone.’ All you have to do is hold down the earbud and the device will translate the language being spoken into your language of choice IN YOUR EARS.

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Pretty incredible stuff. What’s really exciting is that the feature enables you to ‘speak’ other languages too. Using the Google Assistant and Google Translate app, users can simply press the earbud and say ‘let me speak Italian’ (for example) and their English will be translated into Italian by their smartphone speakers. The pixel buds will be released on 22 November with 40 languages.

Imagine if the earbuds included all 11 South African languages? With so many languages in one country, South Africans have more language barriers than most. Could this technology be a small step in the long and difficult process to a more integrated country? Although the price ($159 or R2 000) makes them unaffordable for most South Africans, in a hypothetical high-tech future the possibilities are pretty exciting!

Adam Champy, product manager from Google, had the following to say about the buds: ‘You can easily control your tunes, get walking directions to the nearest coffee spot or have a conversation with someone from another country without ever pulling out your phone.’ Tech is pretty amazing – bring on the future!

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