Google improving Google Translate with Word Lens app acquisition

The company is acquiring Quest Visual, maker of the camera-based translation app

Quest Visual's app translates printed words using the smartphone's camera.

Quest Visual's app translates printed words using the smartphone's camera.

Google is planning to add more smarts to its Google Translate service by acquiring Quest Visual, developer of the Word Lens camera-based translation app.

Quest Visual said Friday that it was joining Google and incorporating its technology "into Google Translate's broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future."

Terms were not disclosed. Google declined to comment further on the record.

Quest Visual's app, which has been available on iOS, Android and even Google Glass, is pretty nifty. It uses the smartphone's camera to translate printed words from one language to another in real time, without needing a network connection. It's meant to be used out in the world or while traveling, on big signs and menus. Books? Not as much.

The app supports a variety of languages including Spanish, French, German, Italian and Russian. Both the app and the various language packs are free to download for a limited time while Quest Visual transitions to Google, the company said.

Google has some image recognition tech with its Goggles app, which can read text and translate it. But in Quest Visual, the company probably sees the potential for enhanced applications targeting language.

Google is known, too, to gobble up smaller companies and incorporate their technology into its own services. C'est la vie.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesapplicationstelecommunicationiossocial networkinginternetmobilesearch enginesmobile applicationsAndroid OSGoogleconsumer electronicsQuest VisualMobile OSessocial media

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?