Words Lens For iPhone Translates Spanish To English - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
04:31 PM
How Upwork Cut Zero-Day File Attacks by 70%
Oct 05, 2017
Upwork has millions of clients and freelancers that have to upload and download many files to and ...Read More>>

Words Lens For iPhone Translates Spanish To English

The Quest Visual augmented reality Apple iPhone app provides real-time Spanish to English translation and vice versa.

Best Mobile Apps For Busy Professionals
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Best Mobile Apps For Busy Professionals

Judging by the reaction on the Web, the makers of a new app that turns an Apple iPhone into a real-time language translator have a hit.

Quest Visual's Word Lens application is generating quite a buzz on Facebook and Twitter and has become the second most popular free app on the App Store, where Word Lens made its debut Thursday. The application on Friday was one of the top trending topics on Twitter and had received more than 750 likes on Facebook.

Language translation on a computer is not new. What is new is the way Word Lens does it. When the iPhone video camera is pointed at a sign written in Spanish, the app immediately replaces the Spanish with its English translation. The augmented reality works in reverse and well enough to get lots of people talking about it.

"It can only do word-by-word translations, but I understood a sign in a language that I don't speak at all. This is the future," Norman Danner says on Facebook.

While Word Lens can only do bidirectional translation in Spanish and English today, the application has been designed to handle more languages in the future. Downloading World Lens is free, but the language dictionaries needed to perform the translations cost $4.99 each. This in-app purchase model sets up Word Lens to handle more languages in the future.

The application does not require an Internet connection, so a person can use it anytime. The app works best on clearly printed text, such as on signs and menus. It can't recognize handwriting or stylized fonts. The creators acknowledge the app isn't perfect, but claim users can get the general meaning of the text, which needs to be at least a hand-length away.

Word Lens requires an iPhone 4 or iPhone 3Gs or iPod Touch with video camera and iOS 4.0 or later. Quest Visual charges $4.99 for a Spanish to English dictionary and another $4.99 for translating in the other direction.

Quest Visual is not the first to release an augmented reality app for the iPhone. Yelp released last year an iPhone app called Monocle that takes information from the review site and overlays it on restaurants, bars and other places in view of the iPhone's video camera.


Qualcomm Releases Augmented Reality SDK

LG Confirms 'Iron Man' Android Phone

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll