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Word Lens in French: Un-Augmented Reality Sucks
December 21, 2011 - By: - In: Language - Comments Off on Word Lens in French: Un-Augmented Reality Sucks

Reality is for people who can’t handle augmented reality, yo.

Like in reality, if you look at a sign, and it’s in French, and you can’t read French, then you can’t read the sign, which sucks. But in augmented reality, if you can’t read French, and you hold up your iPhone in front of the sign with Word Lens, that app will read it for you, man, which is awesome. So what did we learn. In augmented reality you don’t have to know French, but in real reality you do. In real reality, you have to spend hours and hours learning French, and like memorizing verb endings and shit just to read some stupid French sign somewhere. Meanwhile, as you page your phrase book trying to figure it out, Mr. augmented reality guy next to you whips out his iPhone and holds the camera up to the sign, and reads the English translation on his screen, which makes you look lame. Is augmented reality dope, or what?

Word Lens creator Otavio Good augmented machine translation reality itself when he left all the big translation servers behind in the cloud. His MT engine runs on the device itself, so no network required, so no connection errors. So fitting that program into a smartphone app takes some serious coding, yo, and some significant compromises.

No problemo. Everybody loves augmentation anyway, because it’s like so much better than your plain vanilla reality, which sucks, as previously mentioned. With your iPhone pasted to your forehead it’s like you’ve been fitted out with some cybernetic Terminator eye, decoding the world faster than the mere human minds around you. But you definitely don’t want reality falling between the pixels of augmented reality, right? I mean, if the screen starts  popping up “Warning, Zombie Attack Zone,” it better be working better than reality, so that I can like assess the situation, yo.  You need your cybernetic interfaces to be as glitch-free as possible, especially if you are going to be using an iPhone as a periscope to the world.

Otavio sees it this way. “The world around us is very visual, particularly when traveling. There are signs, menus, historical plaques, and myriad of stores and venues that can leave travelers confused. Word Lens helps translate the world around you simply by overlaying a word-for-word translation of the things you’re seeing and reading.

“Augmented reality has been a neat feature since its introduction. However, Word Lens is a great example of the business opportunities that exist by implementing augmented reality to solve practical problems,” added Good.

See a demonstration of how the app works by watching the video (And see my earlier post on augmented demo video reality and a follow-up, here.)

Word Lens with French, Spanish and English translation costs $9.99 to download.

So I’m looking for a shout-out  from  other augmented reality homies on how they are livin’ augmented large on Word Lens. Like if it works and how they use it to solve practical problems like Otavio says.

And congrats to Quest Visual for eliminating the need to read Spanish, and now French. For the next step I strongly recommend that Word Lens goes audio augmentive so that the app reads everything out loud, like in some hot chick’s voice, so that we can stop reading completely. That would be an awesome augmentation because sometimes you know, reading is like, hard, especially if you were like augmenting reality out in the parking lot before First Period English, as in wake and bake, a pre-digital augmentation technology, yo. Fingers crossed for the next release, Otavio!

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