December 22, 2010 Leave a comment
Few days ago iPhone and iPad users got this cool new app called Word Lens. Word Lens is an app which uses the device’s camera to capture the text and translate it directly on the screen.
From the iTunes site snapshot, you can see the pricing. The core app is free, but if you want to use the live translation, you have to purchase the language packs. One translation package cost USD4.99 and that’s for either English to Spanish OR Spanish to English only, not both. For both, it’s USD4.99 x 2. Stunning. But once you’ve got the languages installed on the phone, you do not need an internet connection which makes it ideal for traveling. [source]
Check out the video below.This video from the developer has over 2 million views now since the video was posted on Dec 16th.
The idea and implementation of this app is really fascinating. But this app is still in its early stages and requires further development. One of the biggest limitations for us here now in Malaysia (or even Asia) is that this app currently only has English<>Spanish translations. Imagine how cool it would be to translate some Chinese menu on the spot or travel across the border to neighbouring Thailand and actually understand what the signs there mean. I’m assuming that Spanish is the mother tongue of the developers which make it the first and only language translation available now so it’s not sure how long before other languages come along.
In the meanwhile, if you really need an app that does translation with the phone camera, don’t forget that Google Goggles does translation, although the process is not as cool looking as Word Lens.
You snap the text you want with the Goggles app, which then scans the text and sends it to Google Translate. Google Translate requires internet connection though but since it’s in the cloud, more languages are supported. Best of all, it’s free for both iOS and Android. [source]