Next time you go traveling to a foreign land, you won’t have to waste your money on one of those language pocket phrasebooks. The Google translate app now has you covered. The new instant translation feature works by simply holding up the camera on your device to the text you can’t read… and presto chango! The text has now been instantly translated into your own language.
This feature started out as an app called Word Lens. The team that made it joined forces with Google and brought it to the Google Translate app. At the moment, the app won’t be able to translate things like Chinese, Arabic, Hieroglyphics, although it does currently support 20 languages. Languages like Chinese are problematic because of the many thousands of characters. And Arabic is difficult to program because of its cursive like continuous form.
Check out the video below for an interview with the developer on the details of how the process works.