Friday, February 19, 2010

PhotoTranslator : Translate text from pictures to various languages !

Posted on 1:00 AM by SlipKoRnSaad

PhotoTranslator is a neat application for Nokia N900. It allows you to translate text from pictures to various languages.

Imagine yourself walking on a street somewhere in a foreign country and you face a warning sign, but you have no idea what it says. Just take a picture of the sign and open it with PhotoTranslator, crop the text in the sign and PhotoTranslator translates the text to your language. In addition the PhotoTranslator can be used also for translating copy/pasted or typed text, not just for text from pictures.

KaiLehtinen stated : The PhotoTranslator project started as a technology study for Nokia N900: how easy would it be to make useful software with some actual purpose for N900 using Qt? I found it to be very easy indeed. Although Qt 4.6 for N900 was far from being ready (at December 2009) it still provided me the necessary tools for creating working Hildon-like software without too much extra work. At that point the Hildon-looks on UI needed some N900 specific Qt code which means that using the same UI code directly on other platforms is not possible. However the code can be modified to be cross-platform quite easily.

What happens under the hood?

PhotoTranslator deploys two Google APIs. For parsing text from pictures I used Google’s tesseract-ocr ( library that is installed as binary to N900 with PhotoTranslator. For translating the text to other languages I used Google’s Language API ( which obviously is used through HTML queries. So basically what I did was just that I glued these two APIs work together and wrapped them into nice UI for which Qt is a very powerful tool.
Here is a little demo of the PhotoTranslator in action:

This is a demo and reference project, not available i guess for the public by now, stay tuned !

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