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First, it is replacing the existing camera-based text translation with the far slicker Word Lens system. Google acquired Word Lens back in May of last year with this upgrade in mind. If you haven’t ever tried it, this was the app that brought home to me the truth of the Arthur C Clarke saying that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
The near-instant augmented reality translation of signs and menus from any one of French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish–without needing an Internet connection–still makes me boggle every time I use it …
Google Translate Stories May 16, 2014
Google just bought the company behind a smartphone app called Word Lens that visually translates text in real life scenarios right on your device using the camera and some behind-the-scenes intelligence.
With Word Lens, we’ve seen the beginnings of what’s possible when we harness the power of mobile devices to “see the world in your language.”
By joining Google, we can incorporate Quest Visual’s technology into Google Translate’s broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future.
As a thank you to everybody who supported us on our journey, we’ve made both the app and the language packs free to download for a limited time while we transition to Google.
We’re looking forward to continuing our work at Google – stay tuned!
Google Translate Stories February 18, 2014