The internet and smartphones have made it much easier to converse with people who speak different languages to you, with services using these technologies providing both instant text-to-speech and speech-to-speech translation options. Sigmo, a simple Bluetooth device which uses existing online translation services to translate from one language to the other and back again in real-time, is designed to be the middleman in the equation, thus removing the need to constantly shove your smartphone in people's faces.
The Sigmo prototype is a small square box that features a microphone, speaker, an on/off button, and first and second language buttons. Rather than performing any translating wizardry of its own, Sigmo pairs with a smartphone (iOS and Android devices will supported out of the box, with plans for more to be added later) via Bluetooth and relies on existing online translation services such as Google Translate to do the bulk of the work.
It cannot be claimed that Sigmo is quite up to the standard of the Universal Translator from Star Trek, but it's a step in that direction. Through the use of an accompanying app provided to buyers for free, users would be able to translate between 25 supported languages. These include English, French, Spanish, German, and Japanese, but the Sigmo team says this number will automatically increase as online translation services roll out updates.