On Friday, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) finalized the acquisition of Quest Visual, the language translation startup. Google confirmed this purchase. Quest Visual provides tools that allow users to translate real world written words, such as billboards, in real time. Quest Visual and their Word Lens app will join with Google to create better translation services. No financial details about the acquisition were publicly released.
From the acquisition of Quest, we can expect the translation power of Word Lens to become integrated with Google’s Translate to increase the application capabilities. Quest even mentioned in a blog post that the tech could be added to Translate.
While, in the midst of the acquisition, Quest is providing the app and language packs for free, although it’s unknown if the app will remain or disappear off app stores as the company and its tech merge into Google.
Word Lens taps into your smartphone’s camera to take the text from objects in the frame and spit back the translation in the language of your choice, without any need for an Internet connection. There are different versions of the augmented-reality app available for Android, iOS, and even Google Glass.
The app arrived back in 2010. After that, features offered by Word Lens appeared in Google Translate, though they were previously offered in the Google Goggles app.
It’s not surprising that this acquisition comes after Google began offering open-beta Glass devices to the public for $1500 each. After the beta cycle, the price of Glass will likely become more affordable to the average. Also, we’ll likely see an updated Word Lens-like application for Glass in the near future.
Google’s acquisition of Quest Visual comes shortly after the tech giant purchased Bitspin in January, continuing Google’s aggressive expansion of software offerings. Timely from BitSpin can still be found on Google’s Play store, so it’s assumed that Word Lens might remain on app stores, as well. In the meantime, Google and Quest will be busy combining their resources, which could take a while, meaning it might be some time before we see something fruitful from this deal.