by Joe White
December 17, 2010
Word Lens is a new iOS app that uses the power of "augmented reality" to instantly translate text viewed via the iPhone's camera. If that sounds a bit complex, then imagine this: you're in Spain, and you're puzzling over a sign. There are a couple of words present which you've never read, or heard, and so the sign is a mystery. Fortunately, you have your iPhone 3GS, 4 or iPod touch 4G with you, and you have Word Lens installed. Simply launch Word Lens, point your camera at the text, and the app will instantly translate it on-screen. As you can see in the above screenshot, translated text remains on screen, and takes the place of the original text. Unfortunately, while the app itself is free, users will have to pay for access to "language packs." Currently, only Spanish-English, and English-Spanish are available (each for $4.99). However, the technology works amazingly well, and is definitely worth the cash. If you download Word Lens, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.