Google reveals phone translation via Goggles

6 May 2010

Google has unleashed a fascinating new tool that allows mobile phone users to point their camera at a piece of text and have it automatically translated.

As demonstrated by Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Hartmut Neven, lead engineer for Google Goggles, at the Mobile World Congress in February in Barcelona, the mobile user just points their device at a word or phrase, then use the region of interest button to draw a box around the specific words, press the shutter button, press translate and voila, the words are translated into your language. Watch a related video here: icon: launch video

Every new release of Google Goggles contains at least one new feature and improvements to functionality.

The latest Goggles v.1.1 features improved barcode recognition, a larger corpus of artwork, recognition of more products and logos, a better user interface and the ability to search images in your phone’s image gallery.

“Computer vision is a hard problem,” said Alessandro Bissacco and Avi Flamholz, software engineers at Google.

“While we are excited about Goggles v1.1, we know that there are many images that we cannot yet recognise. The Google Goggles team is working on solving the technical challenges required to make computers see.”

The latest Google Goggles v1.1 is available on devices running Android 1.6 and higher, from the Android Market or by going to the Goggles blog and downloading a QR code.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Google has unveiled a mobile phone translation tool

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years