It looks like Google Glass is about to have even more competition. We’ve all read about augmented reality apps that allow people visiting other countries to read street signs that are printed in a foreign language. As this technology continues to evolve, a new pair of augmented reality glasses was just unveiled which allows the wearer to read a menu printed in a foreign language in real time. As the person reads the menu, it’s instantly translated into his or her native language.
According to the creators of these glasses, Japanese firm NTT Docomo, “Character recognition technology enables instant language translation for users traveling abroad and reading restaurant menus and other documents.” The company hopes to have these augmented reality glasses available in time for when the world visits Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics.
These augmented reality glasses will also turn any flat screen into a touchscreen, which is a technology we’ve written about before. For these particular glasses, the user activates the animated tags with a finger ring.
There is no question that smartglasses (and smartwatches) are getting more and more sophisticated. It makes me think that someday in the near future, we’ll all have at least one pair of Internet-connected glasses. Some leaders in the tech industry still insist that overall, people don’t like wearing glasses, and smartglasses will never be mainstream. I suppose only time will tell if they are right.
One thing is for sure; I know these glasses will come in handy for all the people around the world who plan to visit Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics – at least for the ones who don’t read Japanese. The difference between having these glasses or not could be the difference between eating a delicious dinner or eating something you didn’t even know you ordered. I can’t wait to experience a pair of glasses that translates a foreign language on a menu in real time as I’m reading it!