Pilot: From Science Fiction to Reality

By Valeria Bigurra Peñavera

From Mexican design, a product thattranslates conversations in real time

Sergio del Río is a young Mexican born in Querétaro, who together with a team of young visionaries like him, have created Pilot, a simultaneous translation app that connects to a pair of headphones to allow communication between two people who do not speak the same language.

pilot2©Waverly Labs

Using the influence of movies like Star Trek, he decided to create a device that will help to facilitate communication between people, and now, thanks to a crowdfounding campaign the team have managed to make that dream come true.

Del Río studied industrial design at the Tec de Monterrey, later he applied to a call from Singularity University, an academic institution of NASA, and was one of the 30 selected among 43 thousand contestants in 2012. From there he traveled to Chile where he worked in other projects and there he met Andrew Ochoa, CEO of Waverly Labs and director of development for Pilot.

pilot©Waverly Labs

After having delimited the hardware they wanted to do, creating a translation app was the next logical step, as the team is multicultural: two members are from Russia, two from the United States, two from India and Sergio from Mexico. And so arose Pilot, a device whose 80% is made up of software and 20% by hardware.

The group is made up of software, hardware and engineering experts, and they were the ones who managed to bring an idea of ​​science fiction to reality. Sergio was in charge of designing the headphones, which was a challenge since they had to be created to perfectly fit any type of ear without falling or bothering the user.

Portada Pilot©Waverly Labs

In June 2016 they decided to seek support for their project, so they launched a crosdfounding campaign, which in just 15 minutes reached the goal of $ 75,000 dollars, and in less than a month they collected 2 and a half million dollars.

Now the device is ready to go on sale under the Waberly Labs brand, you can choose from a variety of colors; and for the moment will it only offer translations in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, and later plans are to add more languages.

The Pilot Speech Translator demo app can now be downloaded for Android and iOS, however the device will go on sale formally in May.

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