/* Template Name: Page */ Rachel Ilan, Design | Universal Translator

Universal Translator

The Universal Translator is designed for interpreting languages, objects, concepts, and customs.

A solo project developed while on exchange at the HfG Schwabisch Gmund, in Germany.


Through its window mode, text mode, and speech mode, it allows the user to have a better understanding of the world around them. Highly intuitive, modeled on early-learning concepts of language development, relating closely with the highly popular Rosetta Stone application.


In Window Mode you look through the screen out onto the world, identifying objects which are then relayed to the user. A Wiki of information is available as provided by people living in the areas the translator is attempting to navigate.


In Text Mode you simply translate text phrases. Translate signs, papers, or any other lettered material. Again a Wiki of information is used, and like Wikipedia, a staff of moderators ensures non-vandalized, true info.

In Speech Mode you can translate spoken word as it happens, between multiple people. Mic and speaker are located at the top of the device. Speak into the device and it’s played back in the language of your choice.


The Universal Translator has been featured on a number of design blogs, including Yanko Design, and published in Rich Man Magazine, Taiwan.






Preliminary digital 3D modeling done with Google Sketchup Pro, followed by a detailed model in Solidworks and rendered with VRay. Physical modeling with laser cut plexiglass and hand-shaped aluminum. Interaction mockups in After Effects.