Bewildered tourists who are lost in a foreign country don’t have to worry at all – provided they have an iPhone. An incredible new app has been developed for iPhone users that will instantly translate words viewed through the phone''s camera, reports the Daily Mail.
Known as WordLens, it uses the iPhone's inbuilt camera to recognise text that is viewed through the lens.At the moment, it only translates words from Spanish into English and vice versa but further languages are expected to follow.WordLens uses text recognition to work out what the word or phrase is, and then automatic translation software translates it into the new language. The translation is then pasted over the original location, almost in real time.
A promotional video for the app, which shows it instantly translating a number of signs in both languages, has already become an Internet hit.
“This is probably the greatest augmented reality I've seen yet. To add layers and distinguish things is amazing. But photoshop translated words in well, that's incredible,” one visitor posted on technology website Mashable.
Not every phrase translated in the app is grammatically correct with mangled English such as ‘Recent attack of shark’ and ‘Tongue Bolivian with a sauce spicy of anchovies’ resulting from literal translation.
But the speed and accuracy of the app's software is still good enough to make sense of simple road signs or restaurant menus.
“It tries to find out what the letters are and then looks in the dictionary. Then it draws the words back on the screen in translation,” said Otavio Good, one of the developers behind the WordLens.
He said that more languages are going to be introduced, and he is even considering a reader for the blind, which would read out loud the words the app sees on signs.
Word Lens bears some similarities to Google's own application called Google Goggles, which lets users take a picture of a phrase and then search the web using that word.
A free version of Word Lens instantly reverses any word it can see, and the Spanish to English and English to Spanish translation services cost 2.99 pounds each.