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Google buys developer of featured iPhone app 'Word Lens'

post #1 of 119
Thread Starter 
Shortly after the iOS translation app "Word Lens" was featured in a prominent iPhone commercial from Apple, the developer behind the app has been snapped up by rival Google.




Quest Visual, the startup responsible for Word Lens translator available for iOS as well as Android and Google Glass, is now owned by Google, the developer announced on its website. There it revealed that Google plans to integrate Word Lens functionality into its own translation services.

Quest Visual said the change will allow its technology to provide "broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future."

Following news of the acquisition, the developer has made both the Word Lens app and all of its language packs available free for a limited time.

Word Lens was featured prominently in Apple's "Powerful" ad for the iPhone 5s that debuted last month. In the commercial, a man on a motorcycle translates a road sign that reads "estrada desmoronado" in Galician to discover it says "road collapsed" in English.

The Word Lens app is unique in that it takes a live camera feed from the iPhone and replaces the foreign text in real time to allow the user to read the words as they were intended.
post #2 of 119
"The Word Lens app is unique in that it takes a live camera feed from the iPhone and replaces the foreign text in real time to allow the user to read the words as they were intended."

As they were "intended?" I'm fairly sure the words were intended to be written in their native language. 1smile.gif

(A better way to put this might be to say that it replaces the foreign text in real time to allow the user to "understand" the words as they were intended.)
Edited by ThisIsMike - 5/16/14 at 12:24pm
post #3 of 119

Was going to download this.

 

Not now.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #4 of 119

Good-bye word lens.  Don't you love how Google buys up everything cool?

 

I don't want Apple to buy up companies just to protect them, but it seems like the only way to prevent Google or Facebook or some other company from snatching them up.

 

I just pisses me off that cool tech companies doing neat stuff end up being owned by Companies whose products and services I don't want to touch with a ten-foot pole.  I mean now what? I'll never get to use Nest, or WordLense, or Occulus Rift.  Like, F-off big goliathes that I hate.

post #5 of 119
I just wish support for asian languages was made before they got bought out%u2026 would have really loved to have had support for Korean, Chinese and Japanese. Sigh, oh well.
post #6 of 119

And here I was thinking about downloading this app, now that Google got it's ugly paws on it, no way. Shame, was looking like a useful app to have.

post #7 of 119
It looks like the OS wars are being taken to the next level.
post #8 of 119
I already own the app, so getting the rest of the language packs for free is a bonus for me. Coincidently, I was just thinking about buying one yesterday, so even better.

Don't like it in the hands of Google as it will just become another data mining tool but for now, free is free.

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post #9 of 119

The optimist in me hopes that maybe with Google's resources, something like this could get added faster than an indie developer could ever do.

post #10 of 119

Great, now there's zero good translation apps on App Store. All that's left are useless dictionary apps. 

 

When I traveled to Japan, I bought an Android phone so I could use Google Goggles and real-time translation (Word Lens didn't even support Japanese).

 

But don't worry guys, Timmy 'T.Diddy' Cook has bought fashion accessories company for $3.2 BILLION and he also bought the sapphire glass factory. Soon, our iPhones will be fashion accessories with nothing really useful on them because Google will buy up all the good/important stuff.

 

Tim Cook = Steve Ballmer.

post #11 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregnacu View Post

Good-bye word lens.  Don't you love how Google buys up everything cool?

I don't want Apple to buy up companies just to protect them, but it seems like the only way to prevent Google or Facebook or some other company from snatching them up.

I just pisses me off that cool tech companies doing neat stuff end up being owned by Companies whose products and services I don't want to touch with a ten-foot pole.  I mean now what? I'll never get to use Nest, or WordLense, or Occulus Rift.  Like, F-off big goliathes that I hate.

I am curious what is so bad about Google buying this. So far whenever Google makes an acquisition they either improve it or merge it into an all ready existing product. I prefer Google buying things like this because I know the app can still be used by all of my friends regardless of is. When apple buys an app its almost certain thing that app or service will go apple only.
post #12 of 119
Instead of bitching and moaning about Google, you should be lamenting the fact that Apple lacked the foresight to buy such a potentially transformative app and integrate it into their own operating system. Apple looked at it and only saw a neat commercial.
post #13 of 119

The joy of a monopoly.

post #14 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

Instead of bitching and moaning about Google, you should be lamenting the fact that Apple lacked the foresight to buy such a potentially transformative app and integrate it into their own operating system. Instead Apple only saw a neat commercial.

 

Apple's becoming a fashion company under Cook's horrible leadership. This is expected.

 

Facebook is buying communications, VR, AI companies, Google's buying AI, robotics companies and Apple's buying urban/ghetto fashion brands.

post #15 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

Instead of bitching and moaning about Google, you should be lamenting the fact that Apple lacked the foresight to buy such a potentially transformative app and integrate it into their own operating system. Instead Apple only saw a neat commercial.

How do you know Apple didn't consider the purchase and was outbid?

post #16 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The Word Lens app is unique in that it takes a live camera feed from the iPhone and replaces the foreign text in real time to allow the user to read the words as they were intended.

Wait, what?™

If I see a sign I would assume the words on it are written as intended, not a smartphone app that displays a translation of those words. If that was the intension of the maker of the sign, why didn't they write that? This sentence doesn't make sense - at all.
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post #17 of 119

I love this app, it´s a great travel app. I got all languages bought, and was hoping they would add more. 

 

For sure Google will incorporate it into the camera app with a simple "translate" button, select language and boom. You can now instantly read everything in any languages they implement. 

 

Too bad apple did not see this opportunity, Steve sure would.

post #18 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

How do you know Apple didn't consider the purchase and was outbid?
Why should anyone be able to outbid Apple?
post #19 of 119
The google is worse company
post #20 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Was going to download this.

 

Not now.

 

That's ok, I'll download it for you. So will many others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregnacu View Post
 

Good-bye word lens.  Don't you love how Google buys up everything cool?

 

I don't want Apple to buy up companies just to protect them, but it seems like the only way to prevent Google or Facebook or some other company from snatching them up.

 

I just pisses me off that cool tech companies doing neat stuff end up being owned by Companies whose products and services I don't want to touch with a ten-foot pole.  I mean now what? I'll never get to use Nest, or WordLense, or Occulus Rift.  Like, F-off big goliathes that I hate.

 

So you are saying no other company is supposed to buy other companies except for Apple? Apple is the only company allowed to make products? 

post #21 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

How do you know Apple didn't consider the purchase and was outbid?

Apple can spend BILLIONS of mediocre ghetto headphones but they can't spend few dozen million on real-time translation?
post #22 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post


I am curious what is so bad about Google buying this. So far whenever Google makes an acquisition they either improve it or merge it into an all ready existing product. I prefer Google buying things like this because I know the app can still be used by all of my friends regardless of is. When apple buys an app its almost certain thing that app or service will go apple only.

The bought SimplifyMedia, which was an iOS exclusive and a great media stream app and killed it.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #23 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighype View Post
 

Great, now there's zero good translation apps on App Store. 

Except for the best one ever made.

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post #24 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Except for the best one ever made.

Google Translate doesn't have image recognition.
post #25 of 119
Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post

That's ok, I'll download it for you. So will many others.

 

Nope.

 

So you are saying no other company is supposed to buy other companies except for Apple? Apple is the only company allowed to make products? 

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #26 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregnacu View Post
 

Good-bye word lens.  Don't you love how Google buys up everything cool?

 

I don't want Apple to buy up companies just to protect them, but it seems like the only way to prevent Google or Facebook or some other company from snatching them up.

 

I just pisses me off that cool tech companies doing neat stuff end up being owned by Companies whose products and services I don't want to touch with a ten-foot pole.  I mean now what? I'll never get to use Nest, or WordLense, or Occulus Rift.  Like, F-off big goliathes that I hate.

My sentiments, exactly, gregnacu.

post #27 of 119
I'd rather see Apple make tons of small acquisitions like this than spend $3B for overpriced trendy headphones. Yeah it does bother me a bit that big companies come in and scoop up small,cool apps. But that's the way of the world and if Apple doesn't do it than Google, Facebook or Amazon will.
post #28 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagMan1979 View Post

And here I was thinking about downloading this app, now that Google got it's ugly paws on it, no way. Shame, was looking like a useful app to have.

It's probably going to disappear from the App Store anyway. I messed around with it on Glass, and it was pretty neat, when it worked. So long innovative developers! Now they've crossed the event horizon of Google's black hole, never to return.

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #29 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

Instead of bitching and moaning about Google, you should be lamenting the fact that Apple lacked the foresight to buy such a potentially transformative app and integrate it into their own operating system. Apple looked at it and only saw a neat commercial.

And you know this how?? Perhaps Apple is two-weeks away from announcing a more integrated translation solution to the iOS. Perhaps Google outbid Apple by paying several times over what it was worth? We are not on the "outside looking in," we are only speculating in our blindness...
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post #30 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighype View Post

Apple's becoming a fashion company under Cook's horrible leadership. This is expected.

Facebook is buying communications, VR, AI companies, Google's buying AI, robotics companies and Apple's buying urban/ghetto fashion brands.

So what?
How is that a problem for you?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #31 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

And you know this how?? Perhaps Apple is two-weeks away from announcing a more integrated translation solution to the iOS.
Yeah right. The only thing Apple is two weeks from announcing is Dr. Dre's new parking spot in Cupertino.
post #32 of 119

This app is pretty cool. I remember downloading the demo of it when it came out a while back.

 

I just downloaded it again and grabbed all of the language packs for free, just in case. You never know when you'll end up in some foreign country and need to translate strange signs.

 

Why didn't Apple buy this? What's more impressive, this or a pair of urban headphones? :rolleyes:

post #33 of 119
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post
Yeah right. The only thing Apple is two weeks from announcing is Dr. Dre's new parking spot in Cupertino.


WWDC, man. Who knows what we’ll see.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #34 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

Instead of bitching and moaning about Google, you should be lamenting the fact that Apple lacked the foresight to buy such a potentially transformative app and integrate it into their own operating system. Apple looked at it and only saw a neat commercial.

Wasn't aware you spoke for Apple, Inc. Did the company authorize you to make this disclosure? Yes or no?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #35 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post


I am curious what is so bad about Google buying this. So far whenever Google makes an acquisition they either improve it or merge it into an all ready existing product. I prefer Google buying things like this because I know the app can still be used by all of my friends regardless of is. When apple buys an app its almost certain thing that app or service will go apple only.

Because they rape you of your privacy. Plus I wouldn't use anything from Google, in the same way that I wouldn't buy a sandwich from a pedofile. Out of principle.

post #36 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I already own the app, so getting the rest of the language packs for free is a bonus for me. Coincidently, I was just thinking about buying one yesterday, so even better.

Don't like it in the hands of Google as it will just become another data mining tool but for now, free is free.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post
 

Because they rape you of your privacy. Plus I wouldn't use anything from Google, in the same way that I wouldn't buy a sandwich from a pedofile. Out of principle.

 

 

Privacy?  Data mining?  for what?  Why people still use their real data when dealing with Google?  Just get the free stuff and feed Google with ton of fake info.  Alternate identity is the way to internet security.

post #37 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


WWDC, man. Who knows what we’ll see.

Dr. Dre, with Tyese Gibson siting in the audience. Apparently.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #38 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

So what?
How is that a problem for you?

My iPhone is becoming less and less useful to me. That's what my problem is. All the useful stuff will be on Android, not on iPhone. iPhone will be just another Vertu: an expensive phone that looks amazing but has horrible functionalities and people will be buying it not for features but because it's a status symbol.
post #39 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Why didn't Apple buy this? What's more impressive, this or a pair of urban headphones? 1rolleyes.gif

Because Tim Cook's an idiot. That's why.
post #40 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

Instead of bitching and moaning about Google, ...

Yeah, I know, right? Hypocrites. They should do like Apple. Apple uses Samsung displays because they make the best ones for the best price. They don't let their dislike for Samsung management get in their way. Apple still defaults to Google for search because Google has the best search and pays Apple for the privilege of being there.

 

Idealism is fine so long as it isn't "cut off nose to spite face". The AI site uses Google ads heavily for their funding so you can read articles and whine about Samsung and Google free of charge on your iPad with its Samsung display.

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