- Google is generous
Everybody knows and uses Google Translate, but the company is aiming even higher. In May, it purchases Quest Visual – a company that sells Word Lens smart app. You just set your phone camera on the text and receive instant translation. The technology is going to be integrated into Google Translate.
- There are other apps
Word Lens isn’t the only visual translation technology available. Waygo is also a popular iPhone and Android app, capable of recognizing and translating Chinese and Japanese menus and signs, again with the help of the camera. Company’s representatives state that soon everybody is going to travel the world without any problems related to the language barrier.
- Translation before your very eyes
Visual translation has slowly moved on to accessories, e.g. Google Glass. You’re holding your head straight, looking at a sign, and then say a “translate” voice command. You should also take a note of UniSpeech for Google Glass which offers a similar service.
- But that’s not all
Microsoft, for example, is boasting about the Skype Translator app which provides translation as people are talking to each other in different languages. It can be installed on Windows 8 devices.
- eBay wants in too
The online shopping giant is also interested in “machine translation”- in this case for automatic translation of descriptions in listings. eBay is also planning to create a technology for messaging between sellers and potential buyers who speak different languages.
- Even Twitter wants to translate for you
Here we have Bing Translate for translation various tweets from different languages. Users can see translations of tweets from Spanish into English, for example.
- You’ve got mail… and it can be translated
WeChat is one of the first programs that included translation services: the Chinese version is used by over 400 million people, and it’s also looking westwards. If you click on a message and hold for a bit, it automatically translates.
- Sign language doesn’t stand aside
Signs, just like words, can be translated. Microsoft is working with Kinect – a sign language translator – by using the Xbox camera and movement-detecting technology for translating sign information into oral speech.
- Your online meeting has become even more interesting
Real-time translation of business meetings isn’t far off. HP is working with SpeechTrans technology towards translating conference calls during the process of the conversations. The developers are stating that the technology is able to translate conversation of various length with the 44-language base.
- Not just words
Visual recognition is also expanding: this is an ability of a device to recognize an object at which the camera is pointed. For example, Amazon Fire Phone smartphone which is about to be released, is fitted with Firefly technology which can, amongst other things, scan phone numbers that can be added to contact lists, wine labels in order to learn which dishes they go with, and even additional information about works of art.