Phone app can translate text on signs

July 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, July 11 (UPI) -- A popular iPhone app providing a translation of a foreign language menu or road sign using a phone's camera is now on Android, its developer says.

World Lens will do translations between English and Spanish, Italian and French in real time by just hovering the Android device's camera over the foreign language content, the developers at Quest Visual said.

Word Lens uses text recognition to work out what the word or phrase is, and automatic-translation software translates it into the new language, which is then pasted over the original location in the image, Phys.org reported.

Developers Otavio Good and John DeWeese caution the app works best with "clearly printed text" and does not recognize handwriting or stylized fonts.

The app is not perfect, Good acknowledges, "but perfect was not the goal," and with the app "you can get the general meaning."

The Android app is being offered on Google play for $4.99 per language.

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