Google’s Android is sweeping the phone market with its new technology. Google was demonstrating how the new software worked at the Mobile World Congress (MWG) in Spain this week.
The software allows phones to translate foreign text from photos of anything from street signs to restaurant menus by uploading the photo to Google servers. Then the translation is sent back to the user.
While at the MWG, a Google engineer took a photo of a German restaurant menu and then selected the text “Fruhlingssalta mit Wildrkrautern.” He then requested a translation which arrived in seconds translating to “spring salad with wild herbs.”
According to chief executive officer Eric Schmidt, the new service was just one step in making mobile phones speak new languages. “I've got voice recognition (in my phone) and I've got Google translation... so why can't I just talk on the phone to someone who doesn't speak my language?” he said. “Well we're not quite there yet but it’s coming.”