These Intelligent Glasses Can Translate Text For You

Traveling abroad? These goggles might help you read a foreign menu.

A Japanese mobile firm has been showing off an early prototype of its Intelligent Glasses, and they could come in handy if you plan on traveling abroad.


Seen at consumer electronics fair Ceatec 2013, NTT DoCoMo’s Intelligent Glasses can translate text written in a foreign language into the user’s native tongue. They can also manipulate virtual images using a ring accessory that beams information back to the glasses. What does this all mean? A waiting list stuffed to the gills with gamers who love eating foreign food. Well, perhaps.

Also in the mix is facial recognition software to tell you more about a person in your vision–which sounds just a little bit creepy–as well as the ability to turn a flatscreen into a touchscreen. Although there is currently a five-second lag between reading the text and the translation, it will no doubt improve with time. (Another firm currently going great guns on the translation front is Microsoft, which may or may not be bringing out its own version of AR eyewear, judging by this patent from last year.)

Another Google Glass competitor is Recon, an athlete-friendly version that has already shipped 50,000 units.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.