Real-time translation and augmented reality have been among 2010's hottest topics. Now, one app is marrying the two. Word Lens is a real-time translation app that turns your iPhone into "the dictionary of the future," using optical character recognition and augmented reality to translate text.
From street signs to t-shirt slogans, the app offers a useful, playful, albeit no doubt imperfect, educational tool and portable cross-cultural bridge.
The app is free in the iTunes Store, with various language pairs available for in-app purchase. The first pair released is Spanish-English, with more coming soon.
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.