Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has beefed up its translator app by introducing image recognition for real-time image translation.
The feature works by pointing the device camera to a menu or a sign that is supported by any of the 21 languages supported by the Microsoft Translator app. The feature’s latest launch was for Android OS. A similar feature to support devices from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was introduced in February. Microsoft has also thrown in a few extra features along with the update as well as bringing a few extra languages on board.
The new image translation feature for Android also identifies saved images. Handsets running on Windows OS have had the features since 2010, and it is powered by Microsoft’s Deep Learning engine. The same engine is used in translation options for both Skype and Bing. The new app update also features a Hub keyboard preview which lets users quickly translate text on the go, for example when sending a message to a colleague.
The feature is more advanced than similar feature from Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Translate, which uses crowd sourcing and statistical models. However, Google Translate introduced an image translation app in August 2012, and Microsoft is therefore making a very late entry in the game. Nonetheless, the new image translator from Microsoft is expected to be more efficient since more R&D has gone into it. It should thus be more efficient than any similar feature introduced more than two years ago.
The new image translation app for Android will also feature inline translation which lets users translate text phrases into any of the many languages that are supported in the online library for the app. Users can do this just by hovering above the text. The new update has also made it possible for users to download 34 additional languages which can be used offline. This means that the total number of languages that can be downloaded for offline use is 43.