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iPhone tourist guide app

The new iPhone app called Word Lens translates road signs and restaurant menus in real time.

There was a time when translators or interpreters were considered a luxury, or were confined to important meetings of high flying people only. With the iPhone and its apps, the world is turning upside down, as is evident with the arrival of Word Lens, the new app for iOS devices. It translates printed words in real time, although for now it only supports Spanish and English.
All that users need to do is point the camera towards a sign or picture. Word Lens will translate the foreign words in it into English and overlay the translation onto the image, making it appear as if the picture itself has been translated. The iPhone app uses character recognition technology to detect text, and translates it using automatic translation software.
Word Lens’s grammar
The app doesn’t make exact translations, and it doesn’t claim to do so either. The translation, serves the purpose. People touring Spain, for instance, will be glad to understand a road sign or what a restaurant menu says irrespective of whether the translation is grammatically correct or not. The app is free but each language pack costs $5. For now there is one pack English-Spanish and support for more languages is expected soon.
The company behind Word Lens, Quest Visual, makes it clear that the app is not designed to read books, though it can still be used to read some words. The company is working on versions of Word Lens for Android, Windows and other operating systems as well, and only because it wanted to get the user experience right in the first release did it start with the iPhone.

 

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