Words through a lens

Published December 17, 2010

This morning, Mr C pointed me in the direction of the Quest Visual site, where they demonstrate a brand new iPod/iPhone app called Word Lens. It is crazy! You open up the app, hold it up in front of some signs and it translates them on the fly. At the moment it only does English to Spanish, or the other way round, but I would imagine there are more dictionaries coming soon. Here’s the excellent video, showing off the astounding app:

We immediately got the free app, which features just a couple of demos, and then purchased the English/Spanish dictionary (£2.99) to properly test it out.

Let me tell you, it is just as fast as the video says, and it really is like magic. It can be ever so slightly temperamental in terms of holding the iPod super steady, and it prefers bigger text to small, but this app, it took my breath away. And I’m not the only one. Here’s a quick glance at Twitter:

Jeff Atwood on Twitter: “I heard ‘word lens’ and I was all like, whatever, then I saw the video and I was all like OMFG!”

Avi Bryant on Twitter: “Word Lens is one of those concepts that I would have scoffed at if I read it in sci-fi a few years ago. Now it’s real.”

Rewinder on Twitter: “Word Lens: jcroft: I can’t think of a piece of software that made me feel more like I live in the future than…”

Mr C and I have been talking about a holiday soon. I say Spain, so we can go around holding up our iPods at all the signs.

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