Google Buys Language Translation Camera App Word Lens

Google has acquired Word Lens, the mobile app that can translate text in real time using your smartphone’s camera, along with its development team at Quest Visual. The impressive technology will now make its way into Google Translate. Word Lens and its various language packs have been made free on both iOS and Android “as a thank you” to supporters, but don’t expect to see much in the way of updates moving forward. Quest Visual makes it very clear that the plan is to transition to Google as quickly as possible.

Quest Visual updated the Word Lens Web page to confirm the acquisition.

“Quest Visual is joining Google! 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,” the company said.

Description

Instantly translate printed words with your phone’s camera!

Word Lens gives you translation on the go:
– NO NETWORK required – results appear immediately on your video screen when you need it, anywhere in the world.
– Easy to use, like the regular camera
– Look up translations by typing them in, or clicking on a word.

Available language pairs:

+ English ⇆ Russian
+ English ⇆ Spanish
+ English ⇆ French
+ English ⇆ Italian
+ English ⇆ German
+ English ⇆ Portuguese

 

Notes for getting the best quality out of your translations:

– Best used on clearly printed text (e.g. signs, menus)
– DOES NOT recognize handwriting or stylized fonts
– It’s not perfect, but you can get the general meaning!
– Keep text in focus by holding it at least one hand-length away and tap-to-focus if autofocus is struggling.
– Turn on the flashlight (if available on your device)
– Zoom in (if available on your device)

 

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