Word Lens

word lens

google translate

Word Lens is an augmented reality translation application for the iPhone from Quest Visual. It uses the built-in phone camera to identify text, such as a sign or a menu, in one language and have the words shown translated into another language. The words are displayed in the original context, on the original background, without connection to the internet. When it was released in 2010 only English and Spanish were supported. Word Lens is best used on clearly printed text and was not designed to translate handwritten or stylized fonts.

This application was created to help tourists understand signs and menus. The application was not designed to read books, but journalist Ben Rooney managed to understand a page from ‘Harry Potter y el Prisionero de Azkaban.’ The Google Goggles application for Android and iPhone also has the capability to translate text or identify objects in an image, but it requires users to take a picture with their phones, and an active internet connection. Word Lens does it on the fly, meaning it’s interpreting frames in video, almost in real time.

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