Snapping translations

HP Labs in Bristol (UK) are developping a digital translating camera for travelers to read street signs and directions in a foreign language. They will have to point and click the camera at a road sign, and the optical character recognition software will process the images of the letters. A language translation software then turns it into the tourist’s language and displays it on the screen.

The prototype combines a digital camera, an handheld computer and a special optical character recognition software and is in demonstration this weekend at Nextfest, a high-tech exposition in San Francisco.

“We’re working towards a time when you’ll be able to get out of a train station in Italy, use the camera to read direction signs, pan the camera across the Piazza, and graphic overlays will show you the route to the hotel you booked, the best sights to see, the best restaurants,” declared HP researcher Maurizio Pilu.

Found in SFGate.