On September 7th Sourcenext launched the Pocketalk W. Pocketalk is a speech translator that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. The latest model offers more language options, a simpler interface and the speed of translation has improved.
I recently traveled to Singapore, where I tested this device.
It features 74 languages including Japanese, English, Chinese, Spanish. The device is pretty straightforward, just speak to it while tapping one of the chosen languages. If you choose Japanese and English, what you say will be translated to English when you tapped the Japanese button and vice versa.
It’s compact yet sturdy. The screen size has been increased to 2.4 inches. It’s touch sensitive like a smartphone and there are two 1.5W loudspeakers for better audio in crowds.
The translation speed is greatly improved, 7.4 times faster than the previous model with a wifi connection. For English language, the waiting time from the end of the talk to the translated sentence takes about 0.5 to 1 second in average.
The translation accuracy is spot on especially for Asian languages. The tool adopts the NICT speech translation engine that is known for its fluency. It even understands Indian-English and Spanish in South America.
It’s even able to understand a language even with strong accents.
An important feature is selection of language by voice control. It saves you the trouble of scrolling through the numerous languages for the desired language. You can simply select the language when you say “Swahili” on the language selection screen.
The device supports 4G LTE. Even in places without Wi-Fi, the translation speed has improved by 2.5 times on average. As the waiting time became shorter, the tempo improved and I was able to talk more smoothly.
With the eSIM model, the device supports mobile communication in 105 countries and regions around the world. The initial setup isn’t hard, you just take it out of the box and carry it overseas in your pocket. There is no charge to use it for the first two years.
In addition, it has a nano SIM slot that is separated from an eSIM. You can also use the local sim card. However, there is no offline translation function, it will work only with Wi-Fi or mobile data through your SIM.
For those who are using the tool to learn foreign languages, there is an integration with the tool Rosetta Stone that transfers the history of conversations to the Rosetta Stone App for future learning.
There is also a function to display the translated content on smartphones or PCs. You can display it on a tablet or use a projector. A built in bluetooth allows playback using external speakers.
The battery held up well and it can be used for up to 6 hours continuously. Since it sleeps automatically when not in use, it can probably last the entire day while abroad. The charging terminal is a USB Type-C so you can use the latest AC adapter of an Android smartphone.
What is essential for a fluent conversation is tempo and smoothness. I tried the device at the exhibition and there was no problem with the translation as it was translated within a second.
This is a really fuss-free device, thus even people who have not seen the device before can pick it up and start using it immediately.