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Word Lens augmented reality app instantly translates whatever you point it at

Sean Hollister
12.17.10
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Augmented reality
and optical character recognition have just come into their own, beautifully intertwined into an instant translation app for the iPhone. Download Word Lens, pay $4.99 for a language pack, then point it at a sign and watch as it replaces every word with one in your native tongue. It's a little bit like Pleco, but without the whole language learning stuff. We just gave it a spin, and while it's not quite as accurate as this video claims, it's still breathtaking to behold -- especially as it doesn't require an internet connection to do any lookup. Sadly, it only translates to and from English and Spanish for now. Still, Babelfish, eat your heart out.

Update: Looks like it only works on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the latest iPod touch for now.

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