An updated version of the Google Goggles app is on its way, bringing Android-based smartphones the ability to take photographs of sentences written in a foreign language for automatic translation.
Phones based on Android version 1.6 or higher will be compatible with the app which works in unison with the onboard camera to help with comprehending menus, signs and instructions that users encounter when they are abroad.
Taking a picture of any kind of text will let the app scan it and then give smartphone owners the option to translate a word, phrase or paragraph. Text can translated Italian, German, Spanish and French text into English and vice versa.
Work on the app is ongoing, with Google planning to produce a far broader range of translation capabilities in the future.
Google has also tweaked other areas of the app, with the user interface (UI) undergoing improvements, along with a more comprehensive database from which the app can draw its understanding of the world around it.
The visual search capabilities of the Google Goggles app first arrived in late 2009 and the fledgling software has been undergoing constant work in order to live up to the market expectations of augmented reality.
Google Goggles will be integrated into other Android apps in the future, according to sources, which means that the possibilities for its potential application have, as yet, hardly been explored.