New iPhone app translates words in real-time

A new iPhone application, available now, allows you to translate words in real-time using the camera.

Word Lens, by QuestVisual, is available in the Apple App Store for free. The application is an augmented reality app that will translate words in real-time on the screen using the iPhone's camera. The developers have been working on the project for over two years. Although the application is free, there are in-app purchases for translation to and from Spanish.

TechCrunch explains that the makers plan to support additional languages soon. Otavio Good and John DeWeese created the application and are self funded. "It tries to find out what the letters are and then looks in the dictionary. Then it draws the words back on the screen in translation," said founder Good.

The application is mindblowing and useful. Translation isn't perfect and the application doesn't work well against smaller text but it's a start to a technology that will change the way we interact with people worldwide. The future is here, the future is now.

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39 Comments

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"Although the application is free, there are in-app purchases for translation to and from Spanish." why even mention app is free if you have to pay to use it? am i missing something here?

it really doesn't work very well, for me it cant ever work out the correct words and so its constantly changing. waste of money.

Suggest potential purchasers first check to see how badly the app performs in real life. MSNBC have an article, pretty bad!

It's funny though, that right in the video the app doesn't work like it should. Have you seen what the Spanish translation says?

max84 said,
It's funny though, that right in the video the app doesn't work like it should. Have you seen what the Spanish translation says?

It's not for translating poetry. It's meant for basic interpretation.

Cool as this kinda app is, they tend to be pretty impractical in real life. Not because of any issues with the app's themselves, but simply because they require data in order to work*. At least that's my experience.
As soon as you actually head of to Spain of whatever, unless you want to pay a few quid per byte, your generally stuck without any data and thus the app becomes useless in terms of reading signs or whatever else (which in my view is kinda the point of that kinda app "/ )

* i assume it uses data at least, if not my criticism is gone and this app = awesome

Bag said,
Cool as this kinda app is, they tend to be pretty impractical in real life. Not because of any issues with the app's themselves, but simply because they require data in order to work*. At least that's my experience.
As soon as you actually head of to Spain of whatever, unless you want to pay a few quid per byte, your generally stuck without any data and thus the app becomes useless in terms of reading signs or whatever else (which in my view is kinda the point of that kinda app "/ )

* i assume it uses data at least, if not my criticism is gone and this app = awesome

On the video it says you don't need internet for this to work

ADSfull said,
On the video it says you don't need internet for this to work

At work so haven't watched, but if so then it's just leapt ahead of googles equivalents

Bag said,

At work so haven't watched, but if so then it's just leapt ahead of googles equivalents

This really should've been pointed out in the article. (Along with a link to the app.) No network connection is needed as the translation is done "on-app" using the dictionaries from the language pack. These packs cost £2.99 now but they are 50% off currently. (Again, a price for the in-app purchases would've been nice.)

Bag said,
Cool as this kinda app is, they tend to be pretty impractical in real life. Not because of any issues with the app's themselves, but simply because they require data in order to work*. At least that's my experience.
As soon as you actually head of to Spain of whatever, unless you want to pay a few quid per byte, your generally stuck without any data and thus the app becomes useless in terms of reading signs or whatever else (which in my view is kinda the point of that kinda app "/ )

* i assume it uses data at least, if not my criticism is gone and this app = awesome

I'd like it if they had an option for it to use google translate or something decent. I'd rather pay/require and internet connection and have accurate translations tbh.

Although then again I doubt that would be very snappy either.

I guess this would start to pawn off other languages and eventually just become universally translating??

hmm star trek anyone??

Really impressive. Though, I wonder how well the "augmented reality" portion works with text that is super-imposed over something other than solid colors.

that's incredible!

presumably most relevant and useful for that specific application such as road signs, but also menus and similar might be another.

that's incredible!

presumably most relevant and useful for that specific application such as road signs, but also menus and similar might be another.

onTh said,
Not being rude but isnt this news article supposed to include the link to the app? (appstore url?)

That's what happens when you don't properly copy content from other sites

Link to the company website is included, there is a link on the company website to their product like many other things on the Internet.

Surely this is not the end of the world? Just two clicks....

if you would like me to come and install it for you, or do the first click for you please send me a message. I am available any time.

onTh said,
Not being rude but isnt this news article supposed to include the link to the app? (appstore url?)

This isnt some iphone blog

stevember said,
Link to the company website is included, there is a link on the company website to their product like many other things on the Internet.

Surely this is not the end of the world? Just two clicks....

if you would like me to come and install it for you, or do the first click for you please send me a message. I am available any time.

*rollseyes*
onTh politely made a reasonable suggestion in order to improve the quality of the article. With asinine comments like that, it's no surprise you're available at any time.

reidtheweed01 said,
This isnt some iphone blog

I hope that was sarcasm.

WOW! Mighty impressive... I can see this app coming in very handy for a lot of people!

Bit concerned about the 'in-app' purchases though... I hope this doesn't go down the same path as the Smurfs game in charging a king's ransom for the extras