Quest Visual was acquired by Google a couple of days back, which made the Word Lens Translator application, and all the languages it supports have now become free of charge on any device it’s supported on.
While it’s not perfect yet, it’s extremely good at providing a real time visual translation of printed text that looks like it belongs on what you’re looking at.
It can be a little jerky, and whatever it uses to smooth the text into looking like it was already there in real time doesn’t quite color match shading properly, but if you’re out and about in a place where you don’t speak the language, this can translate languages in many different directions without the need for an internet connection.
If this can wend its way into Google Glass, the product might become a staple for tourists; however, as it stands you’re going to need to be situated right behind the camera phone to see what the real time translation is doing. That might look a little weird in a foreign country – arm out, watching the world through a camera app,and all that.
In the above photos, you can see an untouched photo of a mouse pad package, and what you see through the display. This is done real time, so if you move the package around a bit the text sticks on it where it’s supposed to be.
Word Lens is available for free, and it’s an extremely nifty little app that I hope Google continues to do great things with. It can open up the world to some who aren’t familiar with the language where they’re at, and that’s pretty nifty.
Download: Google Play