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App of the Week: Word Lens – Translate Text With Your Camera Phone

It seems as if we’ve all used translation tools at some point in our lives. Being able to communicate and understand other languages is an invaluable skill to have nowadays, especially if your job demands a ton of traveling. For simple tasks like translating signs and printed materials, download Quest Visual’s app, Word Lens. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
Word Lens is an augmented reality translation application (say THAT five times fast). It uses the built-in camera of your smartphone to instantly scan and translate foreign text. It then displays the translation on your device’s screen (see the example below). The best part is, there is no network required. The results appear immediately on your screen anywhere you need it.

Though the translations are not perfect, you should be able to understand the general meaning of the words you are viewing. Be advised that the app is not built to recognize handwriting or crazy stylized fonts. For getting the best quality translations, make sure to hold your device steady to allow your camera to focus on the text. You can also look up translations the old-fashioned way by typing them in.
Thanks to Google’s recent acquisition of the app, Word Lens is now free for a limited time. It currently supports Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Russian languages. Each are separate “in-app purchases”, which are also free for a limited time. The app is available for iOS, Android, and Google Glass.
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