Word Lens: an augmented reality language translator for iPhone
Many times we get confused at a restaurant in a foreign country and wish if we could just scan your menu with your iPhone and get an instant translation? Well as of today you are one step closer thanks to Word Lens from QuestVisua
Word Lens is an augmented reality app for the iPhone and iPod Touch (with video camera) which offers real time translation of text. You simply point your device’s video camera at a sign and the program translates and superimposes the translated text onto the video in real time.
It is an iPhone-based optical character recognition (OCR) application used for language translation. In real-world usage, it will translate a foreign language sign in an instant using your camera. Word Lens uses OCR to single out the letters in an image captured by your camera. It identifies letters, builds the words and looks them up in its built-in dictionary. Once the words are identified, translation from one language to another is easy.
Word Lens is a free download to prove its real-time word detection algorithms. In the free version, users can reverse or blank-out text in real time. Meanwhile language packs for Spanish to English and English to Spanish are available for $4.99 each. More language packs are in the works. Translations are done on a word-by-word basis, so context is not taken into account. The translation is also done on-app, so no network connection is required.
Word Lens requires iOS 4.0 or later and a video camera. It is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS or the 4th generation iPod touch. You can see Word Lens in action after the break.
The demo video shows it in action: