“When talking with someone in an unfamiliar language, conversations can… get… reallllly… sloooowwwww.[This is no longer the case with the new Google Translate app].” – Barak Turovsky (Google Translate product lead)Although impressive, the conversation mode is still surpassed by the camera mode feature, offered by the latest version of the Google Translate app. Once again, although this feature already exists on previous versions of the app, it has now been enhanced to the point where you need only hover your phone over the desired sign, menu, or newspaper print, you wish to translate, in order for the translated text to appear overlaid on your screen. This is different to previous versions where you were required to take a photo of the text in order to have the app translate it into your native language. One less tap of a button; now that’s technological progress for you! Furthermore, the feature works to translate English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish; with developers working as we speak on increasing the number of languages featured in this list. When using the camera mode to take a photo, the app is able to offer translations in 36 languages, while the conversation mode provides access to 38 different languages. The Word Lens – the apparatus that enables the camera mode to perform the way it does – was originally produced by Calfornia-based developers, Quest Visual, who were purchased by Google in 2014. The Word Lens tool uses augmented reality to function and is expected to be used across Google’s platforms, including in their wearable computer initiatives, such as Google Glass. With this technology, Google is one step closer to achieving their aim of transforming the world into one where language is no longer a barrier to discovering information or connecting with people from around the world.
“More than 500 million people use Google Translate every month – that’s more than one billion translations a day.” – TurovskyAside from transforming international relations, the latest version of the Google Translate app is set to forever change global business operations as well as travelling in a foreign place.
“Often, the hardest part of travelling is navigating the local language.” – TurovskyThanks to Google, it seems that will no longer be a problem.