Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Traveler's Friend

One of the challenges of traveling abroad is trying to make sense of signs and restaurant menus written in a foreign language. A translation device being developed at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA, could ease the alienation. Called InfoScope, the unit consists of a handheld device equipped with a digital camera that takes snapshots of the text the user is interested in. The image is sent wirelessly, via the user’s cell phone, to a remote server. The server identifies what in the image is text, and then translates the words into a selected language. Within 15 seconds, the translation is relayed back to the handheld and superimposed on the photographed scene (photo). IBM researcher Ismail Haritaoglu, InfoScope’s chief architect, says the device could be on the market in two to five years.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Online Only.
  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.