The Travis Touch pocket translator is displayed at CES 2019 consumer electronics show, on January 9, 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP / Robyn Beck
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Once confined to the realms of science fiction, near real-time translation devices that whisper into your ear during a conversation are finally coming of age thanks to leaps in AI and cloud computing. An array of companies at the Consumer Electronics Show are promoting increasingly sophisticated devices that allow people speaking different languages to converse with the help of handheld devices or wireless earpieces.Waverly Lab's "Pilot" headphones translate 15 languages and are priced from $180 and $250 .Chinese company iFlytex, a heavyweight in AI and voice recognition in Asia, presented a Translator 2.0 at the show capable of translating between Chinese and 30 other languages.Netherlands-based Travis laid claim to the first pocket-sized translation device infused with AI, and boasted having already sold 120,000 devices.
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