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)

 

Google’s Street View Update Can Scroll Through Time

A new feature launched few days back allows users to scroll back through historic images and see how familiar views changed through time

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Google’s Street View service now allows users to scroll back through time to see how certain views appeared in the past.

Since it was launched in 2007 Street View has allowed people to see images taken by special camera cars on roads and paths around the country. These images are periodically updated as and when the cars pass back over a previously covered area. But from today users will be able to scroll back through historic images taken from any point.

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This image from Kyoto shows trees in blossom and in autumn

In a post on the official Google blog, Google Street View product manager Vinay Shet said: “If you’ve ever dreamt of being a time traveller like Doc Brown, now’s your chance.

“Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop. We’ve gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule of the world.

“Now with Street View, you can see a landmark’s growth from the ground up, like the Freedom Tower in New York city or the 2014 World Cup stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil.

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Street View now shows construction phases of One World Trade Center

“This new feature can also serve as a digital timeline of recent history, like the reconstruction after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Onagawa, Japan. You can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter.”

When using Street View people will see a clock icon which, when clicked, allows them to scroll back through historic images. The oldest currently available date back to the service’s launch in 2007, but in future all data will be kept and help to gradually build up an extensive archive.

 

Source – https://www.google.co.in/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/

Are You Ready For YouTube TV ?!!

Google is making a big push to boost YouTube usage in India and is in talks with direct-to-home cable providers to bring the service to televisions screens, its global director of platform partnerships, Francisco Varela, said.

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Varela, who is on his first trip to India, said the country was among the video service’s fastest-growing markets and that talks were on with partners to boost usage further. Strategically, YouTube is an important part of Google’s revenues, which crossed $50 billion (about Rs 3.1 lakh crore) in 2012.

About 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube and about 100 hours of video are uploaded to the service every minute. “When we talk to direct-to home providers or television makers or device makers, it’s so that you can watch YouTube on every screen you have, in a fully scalable way”.

Varela declined to name the DTH providers he was in discussions with and would only say the company was working on a tie-up “as soon as possible”. The video platform receives more than 55 million unique monthly users from India, up from 15 million in 2011, a number set to grow as internet and mobile penetration in the country rises.

Few Facts About GOOGLE

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#1  Why Android is named after desserts and sweets?

Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and recently KitKat- why do Google name Android versions after desserts and sweets? Google doesn’t want to explain why, but Randall Sarafa, a Google spokesman said, “It’s kind of like an internal team thing, and we prefer to be a little bit – how should I say – a bit inscrutable in the matter, I’ll say.” “The obvious thing is that, yeah, the Android platform releases, they go by dessert names and by alphabetical order for the most part,” he added.

To celebrate new version release of Android, a giant mock-up of the dessert that matches the codename is usually delivered to the Google Campus and put on display. You can see the mockups of all the Android versions placed together in the campuses; there is a mockup of KitKat Android too between them.

#2  Google Doodle

The first Google Doodle, which is when the Google logo is altered on the site’s homepage, was in celebration Burning Man festival in 1998.

In May 2012, Google unveiled its first interactive Google Doodle to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the arcade game Pac-Man, in association with Namco. Searchers play Pac-Man within their browser by clicking the ‘Insert Coin’ button. The game got viral with the users; so that Google made it a permanent site after the Doodle had been removed.

Later the same year, Google unveiled its first animated Google Doodle to mark John Lennon’s 70th birthday with a short clip of his song ‘Imagine’. A similar Doodle was launched, using a clip of Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ song, to mark Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday in September 2011.

 

#3 Google’s green data centers

 

Inside the Council Bluffs, Lowa data center there is over 115,000 square feet of space. There are 9 more such data centers owned by Google. These data centers are basic to run Google’s internet services like Google Search, Google+, Gmail, its cloud services and others.

At the Georgia data center, Google built an evaporative cooling system, which uses both outside air and chilled sprayed water to cool servers. Google in its blog post said that this evaporative cooling process commonly uses “hundreds of thousands of gallons of water a day.”

To counter such a huge waste of water, Google has turned to chilly outside air and even seawater for greener ways to cool its data centers. The search giant has also tapped into recycled waste water to cool a data center in Douglas County, Georgia. It’s the first time Google has used recycled waste water for a data center in the U.S. and the system was financed by Google and owned by the local water authority.

 

#4 “I’m feeling lucky”

Google’s first official tweet was the words “I’m feeling lucky” in binary.

The “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, which bypasses the results page to take users directly to the first result of their search, has been estimated to cost Google around $100m in lost ad revenue every year.

 

#5 Google’s Slogan

Its mission statement from the outset is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”, and its unofficial slogan is “Don’t be evil”.

 

#6 Google data

Google’s search index is more 100 million gigabytes in size. It would take 100,000 one-terabyte personal drives to contain the same amount of data.

 

 

New Android Mobile Software ‘Google Kitkat’

Google is calling the next iteration of its Android OS KitKat. The new OS was earlier called Key Lime Pie, but Google finally decided upon KitKat, the famous chocolate brand from Nestle. If you think that this is a sweet financial deal for the two companies, then you’d be wrong.

50 million KitKat chocolate bars in 19 countries will have the android branding. Buyers of the chocolate bar will have a chance to win a Nexus 7 tablet along with Google Play gift cards.

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The Android OS expected to launch after Jelly Bean was called Key Lime Pie internally in Google’s offices. Mr Lagerling said, “We realized that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie.” KitKat on the other hand is a popular snack in many counties.

A Google spokesperson explained to The Verge that the new Android version’s name was inspired by the Engineering Head Hiroshi Lockheimer’s love of KitKat bars.

Google has named the Android OS after sweets in an alphabetical order for quite some time. In 2008 Android 1.0 was launched without a name. In 2009 we saw Android 1.1 without a name too. Then came Android 1.5 Cupcake, Android 1.6 Donut and Android 2.0 Éclair. In 2010 we saw the launch of Android 2.2 Froyo and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. 2011 saw the launch of Android 3.0 Honeycomb and then came the OS that unified Android for the tablet and smartphone, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Last year, in 2012 we saw Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. We are still waiting to hear a launch date for the next Android OS, Android 4.4 KitKat.

Source: BBCThe Verge

Google Wants To Pay You To Share Your Skills With Others Via Google Helpouts

What’s your first instinct when trying to answer a question or solve a problem? You Google it. But sometimes that isn’t enough. That’s why the search giant is rolling out Google Helpouts, offering face-to-face tutorials and advice via video chats.

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Helpouts are video calls powered by Google+ Hangouts that involve experts selling their services in various areas of expertise. As of now these categories include Home & Garden, Computer & Electronics, Cooking& Education, Health & Counseling, Nutrition & Fitness, Fashion & Beauty and Art & Music.

The service is currently being tested, but you can sign up to be notified of its official launch. In the meantime, Google said it’s inviting “people with expertise across a number of topics” to offer their input.

Google Goes ‘Desi’ With Hindi Search Tool

Google on Wednesday unveiled a software tool enabling Indian netizens to search its encyclopaedic website by writing in Hindi.

“Instead of typing Hindi letters from an English keyboard, netizens can handwrite on screen what they want to search on our engine using our new Hindi tool, as the Internet can be used as easily as reading and writing in the vernacular,” Google India said in a statement here.

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In its quest to get about 300 million more Indian users online, the company’s geeks found that less than 10 percent of Internet usage was in Indian languages, while in the real world the remaining 90 percent of newspaper readers or television viewers were using the media in their respective mother tongue.

“Our innovative tool makes accessing Internet in Hindi simpler. Hindi-knowing netizens should be able to use their language in the digital world to read and write as easily as they do offline,” an official said in the statement.

The software also enables Google users to search by scribbling Hindi words with a finger or stylus on any digital device screen.

The tool can also be accessed on a mobile browser at www.google.co.in. Once the feature is enabled, a user can activate the handwrite icon on the screen to write letters in Devanagari for words or content to be searched on the engine.

“The Hindi handwrite features have been a collaboration between our teams across Zurich, Mountain View and Bangalore. Our engineers are excited with the potential these methods of inputs have in India,” the statement added.

A Better World Faster – The Google Impact Challenge

The Google Impact Challenge launched in the UK earlier this year and is traveling around the globe to support innovative non-profits using tech to make a better world. We are currently hosting the Google Impact Challenge in India, the second in the series. Get inspired by the work of non-profits in the UK below and visitg.co/indiachallenge to learn more and to apply for the Google Impact Challenge in India.

Google Keep—Save what’s on your mind

On its blog, Google describes Google Keep as a way to “quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to you.”

Every day we all see, hear or think of things we need to remember. Usually we grab a pad of sticky-notes, scribble a reminder and put it on the desk, the fridge or the relevant page of a magazine. Unfortunately, if you’re like me you probably often discover that the desk, fridge or magazine wasn’t such a clever place to leave the note after all…it’s rarely where you need it when you need it.

To solve this problem, Google have created Google Keep. With Keep, we can quickly jot ideas down when we think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to us. Our notes are safely stored in Google Drive and synced to all our devices so we can always have them at hand.

If it’s more convenient to speak than to type that’s fine—Keep transcribes voice memos for us automatically. There’s super-fast search to find what we’re looking for and when we’re finished with a note we can archive or delete it.

Google Keep is available on Google Play for devices running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich and above. You can access, edit and create new notes on the web at http://drive.google.com/keep and in the coming weeks you’ll be able to do the same directly from Google Drive.