You have seen an OCR working when you scan a newspaper article and get editable text from, or when you use Google Goggles to take a picture and and recognizes the text in it. But you probably never found it more than ahh-that-was-convenient , unless you were an Image Processing student.
You have definitely seen Word Translation in dictionaries, or Google Translate. And I’m sure you always found it cool but never magical.
Guess what happens when the two are combined – Magic.
Magical isn’t it?
It’s the result of 2.5 years of hard work from Otavio Good and John DeWeese. Their company QuestVisual launched Word Lens for iPhone last night. For now, it translates only English to Spanish and vice versa. The translation is not perfect but it at least gets the partial message across. In future, they plan to add other European languages in future. The app is free to download but the translations cost $4.99 each.
Here is how the magic works: The app runs OCR on the image input from the camera, runs an OCR to get the text, grabs the translation for every word from a built-in dictionary, pastes the new word instead of the old one onto the image and shows it to you. All really quickly. Pretty much in realtime.
If this things gets popular, these guys should make the translations and OCR pluggable. Imagine the possibilities!
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