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Word Lens – instant translation

There’s been a lot of hype in the last couple of weeks about Word Lens, a new iPhone app that offers instant translation.

The app works by using the built-in camera on the phone. You point the camera at some foreign text and the translation will appear instantly on your screen. It sounds like magic, but the app uses augmented reality and translation algorithms rather than spells!

Here’s a video of the app in action:

It looks amazing, but apparently there are issues with the translations – some testers have stated they are somewhat less than accurate. As most users point out though – this is a technology that will improve over time. Currently the app is offered in English – Spanish and vice versa, with new languages pairs to follow.

OK, so Word Lens doesn’t help you if someone is speaking to you in a foreign language you don’t understand, but hopefully this is one step on the way to a device that instantly translates speech for you!