Google May 6 added text translation to the new Version 1.1 of its Google Goggles application, allowing travelers to other countries to take pictures of text and read them in their native language. Goggles can now read English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and translate to many more languages. Google plans to bring recognition capabilities to other Latin-based languages and eventually read non-Latin languages such as Chinese, Hindi and Arabic, the company said.
Google has added text translation to the new Version 1.1 of its Google
Now travelers to other countries can take pictures of street signs,
restaurant menus and other text and read them in their native language.
Goggles to let users take a picture of a location
from their Google Android smartphone and trigger
a Google search that pulls up information associated
with the image.
Goggles creator Hartmut Neven showed off
Goggles with Google Translate at Mobile World
The Goggles-Translate integration connects an Android smartphone's camera to
an optical character recognition engine, recognizes the image as text and
translates that text into English using Google Translate. However, the app
could only translate German text into English at the time.
As of May 6, Goggles can now read English, French, Italian, German and
Spanish and translate to many more languages.
Google plans to bring recognition capabilities to other Latin-based
languages and eventually read non-Latin languages such as Chinese, Hindi and
Arabic, Google engineers Alessandro Bissacco and Avi Flamholz said in a statement
To use the translation feature in Goggles, users of phones running Android
1.6 or greater must point their phone at a word or phrase and use the region of
interest button to draw a box around specific words.
The user will then press the shutter button to take a picture of the word or
phrase. If Goggles recognizes the text, it will ask the user if he wants to
have it translated. The user may then press the "translate" button to
select the source and destination languages.
famous monuments and other landmarks, works of art,
and products, such as bottles of wine. Goggles Version 1.1 recognizes more
barcodes, artwork, products and logos.
The new tool also boasts an improved user interface and the ability to
trigger visual searches using pictures in a phone's photo gallery. The boost to
artwork recognition comes courtesy of Google's acquisition of visual search provider Plink
"Computer vision is a hard problem," wrote Bissacco and Flamholz.
"While we are excited about Goggles v1.1, we know that there are many
images that we cannot yet recognize. The Google Goggles team is working on
solving the technical challenges required to make computers see."
Consumers can scan this QR code
below or go to the Android Market app on their
phone and search for Google Goggles to install the app on their smartphones.