SIGMO Voice Translating Device
The pitch: You're traveling abroad and don't speak the language. Translation dictionaries have words and phrases. Phones can be slow and roaming rates can be high. SIGMO, which attaches to your clothing or sits in your hand, listens and offers simultaneous translation.
The goods: A 1.6-inch square box with modern good looks that translates from English into 25 languages, SIGMO connects to smartphones with Bluetooth to harness superior computing ability. Press one of the device's two buttons, say what you need to say, and SIGMO translate the phrase. Press the other button while someone is speaking and SIGMO will use its proprietary system for understanding meaning and nuance to provide an accurate summary in your mother tongue.
The result: $249,216 raised from 3,073 funders on Indiegogo. SIGMO's inventors promised that if they broke the $200,000 barrier, they'd make the buttons on their gizmo touch-sensitive. So that's happening now as well. [$50–$65; buysigmo.com]