Our first reaction on seeing this video of an app that translates printed words using your iPhone’s camera? Fake! But then we downloaded the app itself and were blown away – it actually works!
The app is a free download from the app store, although the free version doesn’t actually do anything but demo the technology. Actually getting the app to translate between English and Spanish costs $6 each way as an in app purchase.
But the demos themselves are just as spectacular. The first demo will reverse the letters on printed words, turning “Free” into “EERF” and “Video” into “OEDIV”, for example. The second demo removes words from the screen, magically matching the space that used to hold words with a colour-matched, solid background.
It’s not perfect – the app struggles with stylised fonts, and doesn’t work at all with handwriting, but it is simple to use and amazing in the fact that it actually works. At the moment, only English to Spanish (and vice versa) are supported, but hopefully new languages will be added soon.
This is easily the most impressive real world use of augmented reality we’ve ever seen. Download it now.