iPhone app translates foreign-language signs
Augmented-reality applications have promised to revolutionize the way we live on the go with our smartphones, but none have fully delivered yet.
This may be changing. A new free iPhone app called Word Lens shows remarkable promise for helping international travelers.
Word Lens uses the phone’s video camera and processor to interpret printed words and almost instantly translate them between English and Spanish.
Those traveling abroad could hold the phone in front of their eyes to decipher a foreign-language street sign. The app projects the translated words onto whatever sign at which you point the phone.
This could be a leap forward for augmented-reality apps, which normally employ cameras and GPS systems to merge the physical world with information compiled about people and places on the internet.
Word Lens is the fruit of two-and-a-half years of work from a small outfit called Quest Visual, run by Otavio Good, a former game developer, and John DeWeese, who worked on the Electronic Arts game “Spore.”
“The tourism market is really very large,” Good told CNN in a phone interview Monday. “I want to sell this to all the tourists in the world.”