Electronics

Standalone translator comes closer to the marketplace

Standalone translator comes cl...
The ili translator now has a price and an approximate release date
The ili translator now has a price and an approximate release date
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The ili translator now has a price and an approximate release date
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The ili translator now has a price and an approximate release date
To operate ili, you just hold down its main button, speak into it, then release the button to play back the translated version of that phrase
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To operate ili, you just hold down its main button, speak into it, then release the button to play back the translated version of that phrase

It was last year that we first heard about ili, a handheld electronic translator that does not require an internet connection in order to work. At the time, some people may have wondered if the device would ever make its way to production, or simply remain an interesting prototype. Now, however, its makers have taken a step forward by announcing pricing and availability.

Each ili device is programmed to translate one specific language to one other, although it should be possible to add output languages via firmware updates in the future. For now, though, buyers have to choose between English to Spanish, Mandarin or Japanese, as well as Mandarin to English or Japanese.

It also only supports one-way conversations – this means that while it could translate your English-language question to Japanese, for instance, it wouldn't be able to translate the Japanese response to English … so it's best to use it for questions that have a yes/no answer, or that can be answered with gestures.

Additionally, its vocabulary is currently limited to words and phrases that are likely to be used by travellers, such as inquiries about transportation, shopping or dining.

To operate ili, you just hold down its main button, speak into it, then release the button to play back the translated version of that phrase
To operate ili, you just hold down its main button, speak into it, then release the button to play back the translated version of that phrase

To operate it, you just hold down its main button, speak into it (keeping your phrase fairly short and basic), then release the button to play back the translated version of that phrase – the translation takes less than one second. As it has no screen to display text, though, you pretty much have to just hope that its speech recognition software understood you correctly.

And yes, from now until June 30th, it can now be preordered for a price of US$189. Its planned retail price is $249. Shipping is expected to begin in October.

ili can be seen in use, in the video below.

Source: ili

An Introduction Review to ili - An Offline Translation Device

2 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
It reminds me of the one that they used on Star Trek The Original Series. It seems like a lot of the devices imagined on Star Trek have become reality.
Derek Howe
lol, or you could download Microsoft's translator app to your phone...for free. If this device could do dozens of languages in real time, and translate you and the other person, then it would sell decent to a small crowd of people. But it can't even do that. This day and age people don't want to carry another device, when you phone can do it all.