Remember those cult keep-watching-the-sky alien flicks sci-fi where Interlopers From Beyond use devilish technology to instantly translate earth talk into something comprehensible to their Big Space Brains? Well, as it happens, such sci-fi chicanery is no longer all that far-fetched – at least not according to team behind Pilot, a smart earpiece that automatically translates anyone speaking foreign into a more comprehensible tongue

This system can actually identify the language your would-be conversation partner is rattling on in and then translate it into any language you specify. Thus, you can listen to someone spouting French – if you really have to – and the earpiece will render it in perfect Stephen Hawking’s style English.

Each Pilot earpiece works comes with an accompanying app – the bit that actually does all the hard the work. As long as you keep the two paired, anything that is said within listening distance will be swiftly deciphered.

Reassuringly, there is no need for an internet connection – meaning you can pretty much use it anywhere, anytime. You could use it, for instance, for chit-chat with a Chilean, for romancing a Romanian or for gossiping with a Galopian. At least, eventually.

At present, its inventors – Waverly Labs – admit the system can only handle English and a number of other European languages. The company, however, is planning to introduce additional language modules after the initial rollout. The product is scheduled to be formally launched before the end of the year, making it the ideal gift if you have several Belgians and a German coming over for Christmas dinner. Just don’t forget the batteries.

The systems can also double as a music system – meaning you can pretend to listen to a Frenchman while actually enjoying the new Paul Simon album.

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