Imagine arriving at an airport and trying to explain to a taxi driver where to go in a language you don’t speak, or even trying to communicate to a doctor after an accident in a language you don’t even know. Imagine a refugee arriving in a foreign country and wanting to start their life again without speaking the language at all. It sounds complicated, isn’t it?
What if I tell you that there are over 6,500 languages in the world? Does that sound even more complicated?
It is the time when technology needs to do something about this problem. Nick N.M. Yap, Lennart van der Ziel and Brend Kouwenhove, entrepreneurs and friends from college, decided to work together and in 2016 created something meaningful. With over 20 nationalities in their direct environment, the Rotterdam innovation ecosystem, they experienced many language barriers in their efforts to make serious impact with innovations and so created Travis The Translator.
Travis the Translator is a portable device with the potential to encourage travel, spark connections and create positive social change. This new wave of translation intelligently combines software and purpose-designed hardware, giving people from all walks of life the power to communicate.
In their first crowdfunding campaign they reached over $1.25 million and nowadays the company has offices in three continents with its headquarters based in Rotterdam, Netherlands and and production facilities in Shenzen, China.
Travis the Translator is able to translate more than 80 languages and works with Artificial Intelligence. That means the more the user keeps using it, the better it gets.
Nowadays the company has reached more than 50,000 users.
Travis can speak in a male and female voice and in spite of it not being able to translate long paragraphs, until now it was able to follow a short conversation made with short sentences.
This technology work online with 3G and Wi-Fi, but it also works offline and on-the-go.
With this kind of technology, maybe learning a new language will remain in the past.