Science & technology
Google buys written language translation startup
Publish Date: May 16, 2014
Google buys written language translation startup
One of the new technologies that Google is fronting. Now they have got Quest Visual.
  • mail
  • img

SAN FRANCISCO - Google on Friday confirmed it has bought a startup specializing in using smartphones to translate signs, billboards or other written words in real time.
Quest Visual and the technology built into its Word Lens application will become part of a Google team devoted to developing translation features and services.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed and Google declined to make any comment on the record.
"With Word Lens, we've seen the beginnings of what's possible when we harness the power of mobile devices to see the world in your language," Quest said in a blog post.
"By joining Google, we can incorporate Quest Visual's technology into Google Translate's broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future."
Word Lens uses smartphone video cameras to "read" words in one language and translate them into another almost instantly without need for network connections.
Versions of the application have been tailored for smartphones powered by Apple or Android software as well as for Google Glass eyewear that links to the Internet.
The news came as Google this week began letting anyone in the United States buy Glass, priced at $1,500 a pair.
Google has promised lower-priced, fashionably versions of Glass in the not too distant future and has been prepping the market for their arrival.
Fashion industry veteran and jewelry artist Ivy Ross will take charge of Google's Glass efforts beginning Monday, according to the California-based technology titan.
"I look forward to answering the seemingly simple, but truly audacious questions Glass poses," Ross said in a post at Google+ social network.
"Can technology be something that frees us up and keeps us in the moment, rather than taking us out of it?"
Her resume includes stints at Calvin Klein, Swatch, Coach, Mattel, Bausch & Lomb, Gap and, most recently,
The decision to open the "Glass" test, or beta, program on Wednesday to anyone with enough money and curiosity came about a month after a one-day sale of the eyewear to the public.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Microsoft unveils its first ever laptop
MICROSOFT unveiled its first laptop and its first Windows 10 smartphones as it aims to widen the use of its new operating system in the mobile technology universe...
Facebook, Eutelsat in African Internet satellite hook-up
European satellite operator Eutelsat Communications and social media giant Facebook said Monday they are working jointly to deliver satellite broadband Internet to connectivity-hungry sub-Saharan Africa....
Africa could quadruple green energy production by 2030: report
Renewable energy sources could supply nearly a quarter of Africa's power needs by 2030, more than four times the current levels, according to a report published Monday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)....
Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps
US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear...
Japanese, Chinese, Irish scientists win 2015 Nobel medicine prize
STOCKHOLM, - William Campbell, Satoshi Omura and Youyou Tu jointly won the 2015 Nobel prize for medicine or physiology for their work against parasitic diseases, the award-giving body said on Monday....
Google morphs into Alphabet as new plan takes shape
Google announced that its new corporate structure was to be effective Friday, with shares of "Alphabet" parent company hitting the stock market...
Should Makerere University fees policy be reviewed?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter