Word Lens: iPhone app does instant translation
This is amazing – an iPhone app that instantly translates whatever is in front of the camera in real time.
Word Lens for the iPhone is one of the most amazing apps we have ever seen. Take a look at this, but put down any hot liquids first.It’s an augmented-reality, OCR-capable translation app, but that’s a poor description. A better one would be “magic.” World Lens looks at any printed text through the iPhone’s camera, reads it, translates between Spanish and English. That’s pretty impressive already — it does it in real time — but it also matches the color, font and perspective of the text, and remaps it onto the image. It’s as if the world itself has been translated.
Impressed? You’re not the only one. John Gruber of Daring Fireball puts it best: “[It’s] as though near-future time travelers started sending us apps instead of Terminators.”
We’ve tested the app, and it works just as shown in the video. In demo mode, it can rearrange (or blank out) any text in the camera’s field of vision. You need to purchase translation packs to do the actual translation.
I’m not an Apple fan but I’ve got to admit, the iPhone and iPad sure have some amazing apps.