Friday, May 7, 2010

Google Goggles: Translation

I'm sure you've heard of Google Goggles at this stage. What you may not have heard of is Goggles new translation feature. Plain and simple, anyone who is traveling to another country will find this invaluable. Imagine sitting in a café in France but not having a single word of French. With the new Goggle service all you need to do is aim your phone at a word or phrase on the menu, use the 'Region of Interest' button to draw a box around specific words, take a picture, and if Goggles recognises the text it will give you the option to translate it. Then just press the 'Translate' button. Brilliant!

The first prototype of the service was unveiled at the beginning of the year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona but it only worked with German. The service has now been upgraded to read English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and can translate these into many more languages. All in all the service is still limited to Latin-based languages but Google's goal is to eventually provide a service that will read non-Latin languages (such as Chinese, Hindi and Arabic) too.

Google Goggles is currently available on devices running Android 1.6 and higher.

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