We’re often amazed by the many brilliant applications developers are coming up with for contemporary smartphones. Fitness apps that can map your running routes, GPS device replacing navigation apps, to applications that scan barcodes and log the price/product you purchase.
Word Lens, a new application for the iPhone and iPod Touch 4G is one such app that blows the mind, because it translates words in real time using just the camera on your device.
So, basically, what Word Lens does is it has character recognition software built into it that identifies the words in a ‘shot’ your camera is pointing at. Once these characters are identified, the application references its locally stored dictionary for the appropriate translation.
Once the translation is sourced, the application then translates the words/phrases in real time overlaid over the original image you’re pointing your iPhone or iPod Touch 4G’s camera at. What’s even more remarkable is it doesn’t need an internet connection to do so – it all happens on your phone. Seriously, words (erm…) do very little justice to how remarkable this application is, so you would be best served to just check out the video for yourself.
The application is currently freely available, but it only has support for an English-Spanish dictionary so far. With time, the developers intend to add support for more languages, with the revenue model being to charge for certain language packs.
More so than any application that has come out for iOS devices in recent months, Quest Visual’s Word Lens reaffirms the belief that a smartphone’s usage is only limited by the applications you have installed, and the applications developers can think up. For frequent travelers, Word Lens alone could be invaluable enough to own an iPhone 4 or an iPod Touch 4G, and that speaks volumes to the value of the developer eco-system built around any mobile OS platform.