One of the handiest things about having a smartphone when you’re travelling is the ability to find out almost anything you like at the touch of a button.
Photo-based translation app, Word Lens, has taken this a step further by eliminating even the need to touch a button. Simply point your camera at the words you wish to be translated and watch the translation magically happen instantly on screen in front of you. What’s even better is that the app does not need a network connection to function, a great way of avoiding expensive mobile phone roaming charges.
Unfortunately though, the app is only available in English-Spanish and Spanish-English at present, and at £5.99 per language pack it isn’t the cheapest. However, the technology is incredible and geeks will not grudge paying this!
Word Lens has a disclaimer saying that ‘it’s not perfect, but you can get the general meaning’ and given the issues which exist translating phrases across languages this is hardly surprising.
It’s a step in a very exciting direction however, and hints at a new future of real-time translations and travel advice – as well as being a nice way of avoiding those cringeworthy ‘stranded tourist’ moments.
We see this app as a good first attempt rather than the finished article, and hope the technology continues to develop while more language packs are also added. Just don’t ask us how it actually works!
Word Lens is free at the app store and the Spanish-English language pack is £5.99:
See the video below to see the app in action.