Japan glasses translate menu as you read

September 30, 2013
An engineer with Japan's telecom giant NTT Docomo wears a head mount display (HMD) to touch an animation bear for a demonstration at the preview of the Ceatec electronics trade show in Chiba, suburban Tokyo on September 30, 2013

Augmented reality glasses that can translate a menu in real time were unveiled at a Japanese gadget fair Monday, with promises they could be ready for visitors to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

NTT Docomo was showing off its latest development where cameras, computers and know-how combine to give the wearer a whole different view of what they are looking at.

One function of the gizmo overlays the wearer's first language onto unfamiliar text, making signs and menus instantly understandable—a boon to travellers in Japan, where foreign-language menus are not commonly found off the tourist trail.

"Character recognition technology enables instant language translation for users travelling abroad and reading and other documents," Docomo said in a statement, as it showcased the gadget at CEATEC Japan.

Another application turns any flat surface into a touchscreen, with a finger ring relaying positioning information to the device that lets wearers "touch" tags that only they can see, perhaps to perform an Internet search.

Other uses include facial recognition that is intended to look up someone's identity—and job title—from a smartphone's directory.

Explore further: NTT DoCoMo to Start Marketing Japanese Support for BlackBerry

Related Stories

Japan firm unveils radiation-gauging smartphone

May 29, 2012

Mobile phone operator Softbank on Tuesday unveiled a smartphone that can measure radiation as consumers in Japan clamour for reassurance following last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Recommended for you

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.