Instant text translation
In my earlier posts I had written about seamless content transfer, and this post is in continuation to that. Visual translation will be one more mode of consumers extracting and consuming information more easily and sharing it.
Building upon its visual search capabilities, Google Goggles now provides Android users with visual translation. By simply taking a picture of a word or phrase, Goggles will recognize the text and give the option to translate.
Here’s how it works:
* Point your phone at a word or phrase. Use the region of interest button to draw a box around specific words
* Press the shutter button
* If Goggles recognizes the text, it will give you the option to translate
* Press the translate button to select the source and destination languages.
The first Goggles translation prototype was unveiled earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and could only recognize German text. Today Goggles can read English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and can translate to many more languages. They are hard at work extending their recognition capabilities to other Latin-based languages.
Technology is changing the way we navigate today’s global culture. We see auto translation already happening on the desktop web (see Google Chrome). Toshiba is trying to tackle automatic mobile voice translation, but with 6,000-plus languages this still remains a difficult task. Written language is relatively standardized, so Goggles translation and apps like PicTranslator, while not perfect, are a lot more possible.
Computer vision gives mobile devices the ability to capture and analyze the real world, extending our innate abilities. With mobile translation apps, future generations may not see foreign languages as much of an obstacle. This is the Singularity, as Ray Kurzweil has defined it.