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“Language barrier: a gap in the spoken word that ultimately hinders smooth instantaneous communication, leaving room for misinterpretation.” Of course, having a human translator at all times for this purpose is nearly impossible.

Imagine this situation: it’s midnight, you’re a visitor in Tokyo out for a meal but lose your way back to the hotel. How would you normally go about asking for directions and following them? Mind you, standard Japanese is the most widely spoken here (although sometimes you can get away with broken English too). Panic and rummage through your dictionary or search using your phone with unpredictable internet speeds?



In an attempt to address this challenge, Logbar Inc., at CES 2016, launched the only real-time translator in the world that can be worn on the body or kept in pockets. This translator uses voice and not text to translate, does not require an internet connection and in the process saves on battery power and updates via a drive through a docking station. Exit Google Translate, enter iLi! This small handheld device, currently pre-installed with three languages (English, Japanese and Chinese), works by a simple mechanism of push-to-activate, with auto-responses and a largely accurate translation of the same. iLi’s vocabulary is pretty fantastic too as it contains more than 50,000 words and phrases of daily use. The creators are constantly improving its content and command over the dialects in an effort that especially benefits travelers.

The ili wearable translator. (YouTube)

The company has priced this gadget moderately at $200 and it retains battery for a period of 24 hours. French, Thai, Korean, Spanish, Italian and Arabic are currently in the process of being added into iLi’s database. Logbar claims the reason for its current unavailability as “aiming for precise translations and comprehension in existing languages”.

Trust user-friendly and futuristic wearable translator, iLi, to build bridges and not walls among us!

Top image source: YouTube Screenshot


Gabrony, K. (2017), WearableO,, (accessed 16 Feb 2017)

Lynch, T. W. (2016),,, (accessed 16 Feb 2017)

iLi, (2016),, (accessed 16 Feb 2017)

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Meghna Rao, MSc

A postgraduate in Bioscience with work experience in research and communications in the fields of science, health and medicine. Her specializations include writing and developing scientific material for websites, blogs, and other print and digital media, content curation and management, and medical proofreading and editing. She also has a fair knowledge in marketing communications and science journalism. Also, Meghna is passionate about yoga, working with non-profits and travel blogging. Read More

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