Nokia Shoot-to-Translate Camera

Nokia has just showcased a nifty mobile translator cameraphone application called Shoot-to-Translate. The intent is to ease the lives of busy travelers trying to read signs and news in foreign lands. You see a sign or other text in Chinese, take a clear picture, and (Bob's your uncle) you've got the English version.


(Shoot-to-Translate)

The text released with the prototype demonstration unit for the Shoot-to-Translate cellphone is as follows:

“Shoot to Translate: a demonstration using software that translates written characters into another language; the original text is captured with the camera on the Nokia multimedia computer and translation happens in real time.”

At present, the Nokia Shoot-to-Translate feature only translates Chinese to English.

I believe that there is a close analog to this device provided as an assistive device to people who are visually impaired. The K-NFB device developed by Ray Kurzweil would allow the user to take a picture of some text in English, do character recognition, and then read the resulting text aloud. See K-NFB Portable Text To Speech for more details.

Take a look at these other efforts in real-time translation:

Via Nokia Mobile App Translates Text.

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