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Monday, January 3, 2011


Word Lens iPhone app is an amazing translator, but finicky

Review for Word LensPosted December 17, 2010, by Phil Hornshaw


The things that iPhone apps are doing with augmented reality are interesting, but usually not that useful. The just released Word Lens borders on amazing, however, using the iPhone’s camera to translate text on the fly, right on the screen, as you pan the camera over the words.



The effect is pretty stunning. The app features a demo to show you how it works, but while Word Lens itself is free, the translation features are currently limited to English to Spanish or Spanish to English, and each translation set costs $4.99. The demo takes English words as you pass the camera over them and reverses them. It’s pretty accurate and pretty fast, all told.
The English to Spanish translation, which we sampled for this review, seemed to be equally speedy as well. The accuracy of the translations is hard to gauge, however -- in both cases, Word Lens would snap between different translations of words as it attempted to read the text
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