April 7, 2008 Nokia unveiled a plethora of mobile phone functionality concepts last October at The Way We Live Next briefing in Finland and tucked away behind the high profile apps was a simple shoot-to-translate function. Inveterate traveler Dave Weinstein dropped in at CTIA last week and reports that he focussed straight away on the cameraphone translator that can supposedly translate Chinese to English from a photo taken on the phone. “You can imagine how useful it would be for me, but it was just a technology demo. They wouldn't let me load the app on my phone or tell me any real info about it”, says Dave, who spends most of his time in Beijing these days.
The more we tried, the less we could find out. Indeed, it seems the entire body of knowledge external to Nokia centres around a paragraph in the The Way We Live Next briefing press release, a short demo and a photo they released.
The released text reads: “Shoot to Translate: a demonstration using software that translates written characters into another language; the original text is captured with the camera on the Nokia multimedia computer and translation happens in real time.”
Let’s hope it’s not all smoke-and-mirrors – this is a killer app for travellers!
Anybody got any more info?