Any idea how we can do this in Android?

For those of you at work who can't watch the video, it's a demo of an iPhone app that came out today called Word Lens, which in translates language in real-time through the camera. If you point it at a sign in Spanish, it doesn't just output a translated text, it makes it look as though the sign were in English. Un-freaking-believable!

The closest thing I have seen is Google Goggles but I don't think it even comes close to Word Lens. Am I missing anything? Do we have any awesomeness like this yet?

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    Not an answer, just a comment - my coworker promptly downloaded the app on his iPhone4 and we started experimenting -- The OCR was very slow and unreliable and the text overlay was glaringly obvious when it was occasionally in the correct spot -- often it was randomly placed halfway across the viewfinder. In other words -- Don't fall in love with that demo just yet, it was clearly idealized. :) I found that Google Goggles, while not realtime, was far more accurate at OCR in our handful of informal tests this afternoon.
    – Saiboogu
    Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 19:52
  • I actually have friends who worked on a virtually identical app. I don't think it worked in real-time, though. I'll ask them if they've seen this. Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 20:10
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    Google Goggles is pretty close, not real time, but I've had it translate a Japanese symbol for me before.
    – Bryan Denny
    Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 20:22
  • @Saiboogu: I suspected that might be the case. Thanks for quelling my brief bout of iphone-envy.
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 20:59
  • @Matthew Read: Was it an Android app or was it also for iOS?
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 21:00

3 Answers 3


Looks like Google Goggles is as good as it's going to get for now. From what I've read in the comments and around the web it sounds like that Word Lens video makes the app look a lot better than it actually is. For now it looks like Goggles, while it may not be in real-time is a more accurate option.


Google acquired the company behind the app "Word Lens".

Now Google Translate incorporates the functionality of real time camera translation.



CamTranslator seems to be a good app that can recognize and translate up to 14 languages, including Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Hungarian and etc.

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