One of the dreams of tech companies everywhere is the Universal Translator. Crack that nut and you’ll have both helped propagate world peace by improving human communication and stripping away barriers between cultures — and also become really stinking rich.
Google likes both of these ideas and they’ve actually just managed to push the universal translator a little closer to reality. The tech is called Optical Character Recognition, or OCR. It’s a fancy way of saying “point your camera at some text you don’t get, our software will scan it and spit out a translation.”
Granted this thing isn’t Shakespeare, and it was just added to Google Translate for Android. But it’s got a pretty impressive range of languages for a newly added feature: Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Turkish, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and, oh yeah, English. And Google is adding more.
In short, Google will help you get around Europe that much more easily. Now, can you give us phonetic pick-up lines?