GABE ZALDIVAR (Travel Pulse): The future of travel just arrived, so clean yourself up and make the place hospitable.
Lifehacker reports on Google Translate’s new toy, a real-time tool that basically translates that foreign scribble in your phone’s camera screen.
For years we have enjoyed clever sci-fi tropes that explain how characters understand one another. There is the TARDIS’ telepathic field in Doctor Who, which is rather handy. And there is the babel fish you stick in your ear as featured in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Well, thanks to an earlier acquisition of Word Lens, the Google Translate app is as close as you can get to sci-fi translation comfort.
There is no better way to illustrate how amazing this is than with the Google Facebook post:
Post by Google.
Quartz reports that, for the time being, “it only works from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.”
The report also reminds that Microsoft has similar technology that works for English and Spanish.
BBC News’ Rory Cellan-Jones gave a brief tour of the app’s visual and voice technology with signs and bilingual colleagues at hand.
Now the technology, as seen in Word Lens, has been out for some time, however, it’s now being given the fine tuning afforded by Google. As Emily Clarke explains in the video, there is a dedication to improving the tool to make sure proper translations come without the need of expensive data downloads. With this being just the initial throes of the technology, we can just imagine how we might travel one, two, even 20 years from now
The smartphone is getting smarter and the world is continuing to shrink thanks to this amazing little tool.
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