There’s something about technology that never fails to surprise me. The latest gadget that’s blowing my mind is a pocket translator. I first saw Pocketalk at the annual consumer electronics show, CES 2020 and the company was kind enough to let me try one out just ahead of it’s official launch in March 2020.
What is Pocketalk?
Pocektalk is a small handheld device that acts as a visual and audio translator and interpreter. Speak into the device and it will interpret for you.. Hold the built-in camera up to a sign and it will translate it right on the small touchscreen ( 480×640 pixel). The device has support for over 70 languages.
Setting up Pocketalk
Amazingly, there’s really no set up required. There’s no logging in and registering for an account, there’s no downloading of dictionaries, no nothing. Power it on, select your languages and start talking.
To use the audio interpretation feature, push and hold the button on the front, then release it when you’re done speaking. The device will show you the literal translation and say it out loud.
You can use Pocketalk to translate signs too, using the internal camera. Select the camera by tapping the menu box in the top left, then choose camera. Point it at what you want to translate, snap a photo then choose accept. The translation will overlay on the photo, telling you exactly what you need to know.
How does Pocketalk work?
Pocketalk uses an internet connection via Wi-Fi, mobile data, or a personal hotspot to provide instant translation and interpretation support.
Because Pocketalk relies on detailed language engines and special cloud technologies to carry out its highly accurate translations, you do need a connection. Fortunately you can purchase Pocketalk with Built-in Data, and that comes with two years of unlimited global cellular data in over 120 countries so you don’t have to worry about searching for data overseas.
How many languages does Pocketalk translate?
There are more than 74 languages available in Pocketalk. There’s no need to download dictionaries or files either–all 74 languages are on the device once connected to the cloud!
You might find more than the 74 languages in your device but Pocketalk don’t count the extras as one of their supported languages. (This is because the company counts a supported language as a language that has the ability for voice input into Pocketalk.) Want to see if the language you want is supported? That’s here: https://www.pocketalk.net/languages-countries/
How does Pocketalk work? Do I need Wi-Fi or Bluetooth? Or a subscription?
Pocketalk comes with two years of data usage via cellular, in 120 countries.
After the two years, if you would like to continue using the built-in data for your mobile data connections, you will need to renew your data plan. Pocketals plans to offer the renewals at $50 per year. The detailed procedure for how this renewal will be carried out is yet to be decided, but we will update the information on our website.
Other options include installing a SIM card or connecting to Wi-Fi or a personal hotspot.
What can I do with Pocketalk?
Pocketalk is a pretty versatile translator. It’s small enough to fit in the tiniest pocket, but it packs a lot of info. Use it to read signs, menus and even handwritten notes!
Or carry on a conversation; speak into the device and it will translate for you. To see it in action, watch the video review.
How to use Pocketalk
To use audio interpretation, just push and hold the button and speak clearly. When you’re done you’ll see the onscreen, written version and head the audio spoken aloud – this is great for trying to communication with someone face to face.
Currency conversion too
Your Pocketalk will also do money conversions for you on the spot too. Just input your two currencies and let Pocketalk make it make sense. The company says currency rates are updated daily.
Language accuracy: is Pocketalk accurate?
I speak fluent Spanish so when I tested it out between English and Spanish, I found it worked extremely well. I tried using a few phrases in Greek that I know. Similarly, they came out accurately!
I lent it to a friend to try Persian. While the translation were shown on screen, there was not dialogue support for the phrases being said out loud, but that’s because , on Pocketalk’s website, Persian isn’t a fully supported language in the device yet.
I tried it out with some webpages and though it’s not 100% perfect, it does allow me to read an understand the gist of things, where without Pocketalk I’d be completely lost.
The battery last for a full 7 hours of talking. Or if put into sleep mode with a full battery, it will last for 10 days!
Overall review: Pocketalk
I’ve been really surprised at how well this device works. While I’ve not tried absolutely every language, the ones I have tried work well. You do need to speak a bit more deliberately, but if you’re struggling to communicate in another language you need to speak slowly and carefully anyway, right? I would really like to try this device out in real life in a country where I don’t speak the language so see the real world applications and execution. I’m not planning any international trips just yet, so I’ll have to report back in the future.
I love the compact size and the battery lasts long enough to get you through a full day of travel.
Pocketalk is available from Amazon, and I can definitely recommend it for your next trip.
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