On the same day as the opening ceremonies for the Sochi 2014 Olympics, Quest Visual, Inc. added a new language to their Word Lens Translator – you guessed it, Russian.
Word Lens is a real time visual text translation service, categorized as an augmented reality application. Simply point your device’s camera at the desired text and it will be instantly translated right on your screen.
Word Lens has been around for a while and already offered bi-directional translations between English and Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese. Russian was a no brainer inclusion considering the impact that Olympic games have on the world. I suspect that even those of us that are not bundling up for the winter games, will still run across a bit of Russian here or there in the next few weeks. We do not need to be one of the thousands of English speaking, smartphone touting athletes, coaches, family, friends, fans or media from around the globe headed to Russia for the games, to benefit from Word Lens.
Word Lens language packs install right on your device, making it perfect for travel as no data use is required. This differs from the more powerful Google Translate app, which, although supports a greater number of languages, by default, requires a network connection to operate. Running the translation from the device has the added benefit of speed, where sending text to servers and awaiting the translation, as Google Translate does, can take upwards of twenty seconds – Word Lens is virtually instant and very effectively replicates the look of the original text, which really just makes you smile when you see it in action… Why don’t you do that now:
Word Lens is also available for Google Glass; this very well could be the most powerful use of Glass, after navigation and photo/video recording, at least for those that travel frequently.
If you are not already using Word lens, what language translation apps are you using?