One of the defining human characteristics is our ability to converse with one another about an infinite number of things, thanks to our ability to use language. However, since we all developed in different parts of the world, there are thousands of individual languages that present a barrier for cross-planet communication. There are tools to help and of course we can learn another language, but there are still hurdles to cross, something that the Sigmo plans to make a lot easier.
Sigmo’s function is simple, but important. It is able to translate up to 25 languages in real time, in two distinct voice modes. You simply set the language you’re translating from and the one you want to translate too. From then, you press the button to activate the Sigmo and begin speaking into it, it will then translate what you’re saying in real time in the selected language. Pressing the secondary button will do the same process in reverse, so that you are able to process a response.
The Sigmo itself is a compact, lightweight device, that can be worn around the neck, on a wrist strap or taken anywhere in your bag, making it perfect for holidays, business trips or foreign language learning, allowing you to quickly translate what you could like to say and then repeat it yourself.
Thanks to the original indiegogo campaign for the Sigmo going so well also, the developers added touch buttons, aluminium casing versions, a free carry bag and a 3.5mm jack port to allow for the use of earphones or speakers.
At the time of writing you can’t buy a Sigmo, though its funding cost was $65 + shipping during the campaign. The projected release date was originally January this year, but the developers are still unsure when the next ETA is.
Obviously an uncertain release date is worrisome, as those that have already paid for a Sigmo have no idea of when the product they pre-ordered will arrive. I wonder too if the Sigmo is something that requires a specific hardware platform, or if it could be achieved with a simple smartphone application.
There’s also the potential for issues with longer sentences getting jumbled as the Sigmo starts bleating out its translation mid-sentence.
It all comes down to expectations vs reality. If the Sigmo can deliver on its promises, then it’ll be worth the wait, but if because of the delay, if we end up with a product that’s not quite up to scratch, it’s going to be harder to justify its purchase.