Software translates foreign text from camera phone images

Android was slowly adopted by most phone makers when it first launched. It took a while for the bugs to be worked out of the first handset that ran the android OS, but today Android is gaining traction in the smartphone market. There are more handsets being unveiled every day running Android making it one of the most popular mobile operating systems around.

One of the cool things about Android is that Google is always innovating and looking to add new features/functions to the OS. 
Yahoo Tech reports that Google was showing off new software at Mobile World Congress in Spain this week that translates foreign text when the user takes a picture with their Android device's camera.

At the MWC demo, a Google engineer took a picture of a German restaurant menu with an Android smartphone. The translation software takes the photo, uploads it to Google servers, and translates the text automatically. The translation is then sent back to the user.

In the demo, the image had an item with the German description "Fruhlingssalat mit Wildkrautern" which the Google software was able to accurately translate to "spring salad with wild herbs." The difference in this Google offering and similar apps already available is that the translation is done on the Google servers.

The reason for that is to allow more processing power to be applied to the translation than the mobile device can muster on its own. The result is supposed to be faster translations. That is assuming that the mobile network in the area is fast enough to send a photo quickly to Google's servers.

Google offered no indication of when the software would be offered for Android devices.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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