Of all the cool gadgets in Star Trek, one of the least-appreciated is the universal translator, which lets the crew of the Enterprise – or Voyager, or Discovery – talk to pretty much anyone through their communicators. So when I heard there was a real-world version called the Travis Touch, I jumped on it faster than you can say “open hailing frequencies.”

Travis Touch is a small Android-powered handheld that packs enough built-in intelligence to translate 105 spoken languages – more than the 41 supported by Google Translate, and many more than the 11 of Microsoft Translator. Eight of those are stored locally, while the remainder are accessible if you connect Travis to WiFi or a 4G network (via the built-in SIM slot). It can also act as a 4G hotspot.

To find out whether the Travis Touch was a good fit for me, I took it along when I traveled to Germany and Sweden for IFA 2018 and the Mercedes EQC launch, respectively – and the answer I came away with taught me a little bit about what kind of traveler I am. Join me for the Travis Touch Hands-On, and check out the Indiegogo link in the video description if you think a Travis Touch is a good match for you; the campaign closes on September 15th.

Stay social, my friends

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