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Where's the men's room?

Friday, December 17, 2010 by cyberacoustics

Ever travel to a foreign country where everything's Greek to you? You can't read signs, menus, or any other information because you don't speak or read the language. So what do you do? You wave your hands around, speak very slow, shout loudly, or make up words you hope they will understand. 

Those days might be over. A company called Quest Visual is going to make your next trip a little easier. They've recently released an eye-catching iOS app called Word Lens

Word Lens is an augmented reality app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, which offers real time translation of text. You simply point your device's camera at a sign, and the program translates and superimposes the converted text onto the video in real time. 

How cool is that - just point and get instant translation. No more being embarrassed or helpless. Just pretend you are taking a picture, and you're well on your way to looking like a tourist, but at least you'll know what the language says. 

To prove the app's algorithms work in real time, the initial app can be downloaded for free. In the free version, users can reverse or blank-out text. Meanwhile, language packs for Spanish to English and English to Spanish are available for an in-app purchase of $4.99.

Translations are done on a word-by-word basis, so context is not taken into account. The translation is also done within the app, so no network connection is required.  

More language packs are currently in the works.

Our Social Media Director, Beau Rosser, has tried the app out personally and thinks it's brilliant. 

- Steve Murphy, CFO - Cyber Acoustics


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