Now this is seriously cool. Google Goggles has been around for a little while for Android-powered cellphones. The basic concept is that instead of typing in your search terms, you take a photo of it using the phone’s built-in camera. Take a picture of the Washington Monument, and it’ll recognize it and bring up the relevant search results. Likewise, it will realize what you want to know when you snap a picture of the Mona Lisa, or a product logo, or even the cover of a book. Very, very clever.
The most recent update to Goggles has now given the application the ability to recognize text, which makes it an absolute must-have for any globetrotters. Don’t know what to order from a French menu? Need to translate a paragraph of German from a book? No problem – take a photo, and Google Translate does the rest.
At the moment it only works with Android 1.6 and higher, and only with selected languages using the Latin alphabet (specifically English, French, Italian, German and Spanish). However, Google are working on building in support for other alphabets, such as Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Cyrillic, Greek etc.
Absolutely amazing development from a universal translation perspective – viva technology!