Translating technology has come a long way since Babblefish. A new iPhone App called Word Lens combines augmented reality, real-time translation and character-recognition software that will have you heading to that Mexican restaurant you always wanted to try but couldn’t read the menu.
The app looks for characters through the iPhone camera and translates them in real time, replacing the foreign words with their English counterparts (and visa-versa).
For over 2 years, Quest Visual founders Otavio Good and John DeWeese have been working on the technology that will aid travelers abroad. The initial offering for $4.99 offers English-Spanish conversion with plans to roll out other languages soon.
“It tries to find out what the letters are and then looks in the dictionary,” said Good. “Then it draws the words back on the screen in translation.”
Future plans include French, Italian, and even an app for the blind. Even if you aren’t traveling out of the country any time soon, it may be a good app to get simply for the novelty value. Here it is in action:
Digg User technight put it to a little independent test: