Instant translation app for iPhone is rolled out

21 Dec 2010

Travelling in a foreign country just got easier with the launch of a new instant translator application for the iPhone: Word Lens.

The app, which can be downloaded free from iTunes, is currently only available in Spanish but will soon be rolled out in more languages. It enables users to hold up in-built phone cameras to a sign or piece of printed text, which will instantly translate the foreign text in real time without an internet connection by using character recognition software.

Translation in one direction, either Spanish to English or vice versa, will cost US$4.99, and though may not be perfectly translated, the designers QuestVisual claim it should give users the gist of the text.

Best results, they say, will be achieved by pointing the camera towards brightly lit printed text. The software will not recognize handwritten text or read books.

QuestVisual also promised: “We’re starting out with European languages and will expand from there. We won’t stop until we get all the way across the globe!”

For more information and a short demonstration video, visit

Alisha Haridasani

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