Translating text on signs in real time with the iPhone

OK, I admit it… I have been jealous of Google Goggles on the Android Smartphones. It has some limitations, but the augmented reality features are far beyond all of the individual apps I have on my iPhone doing similar things. There are a couple winning apps on the iPhone but one area no one has touched is Goggles ability to translate a sign to different languages. That is, until now… happy days! Word Lens has appeared in the iTunes app store and it works very nicely!

A major difference between what Word Lens offers compared to Google Goggles is the lack of need to be online. This means that you have to have the different languages you may want to translate to/from installed on your iPhone, and it also means you can translate without being connected to the Internet.

While Word Lens doesn’t currently work on handwriting or fancy fonts, it does work with regular signs… and menus too! You point your iPhone camera at some text, the app looks at each word, translates it to/from the language you chose and shows the text right on the sign where the previous language text was. It is just like having a little sign guy in your pocket to run out and redo the sign in real time for you!

Currently, Word Lens only has English and Spanish. The app it’s self is free, then you pay for each language in each direction as an in-app purchase. More languages are on their way. It is hard to compare the price to any other translation software since they always require you type in words to be translated. Word Lens replaces what you see with what you can understand.