Usually, ordering a meal in a non-English speaking country isn't too bad if the restaurant has pictures, since you can just point and nod. But pictures aren't everywhere, and there will be times you'll need to actually read a road sign, a posted notice or other unfamiliar text when you're abroad. That need probably fueled the creation of NTT Docomo's Intelligent Glasses, a pair of wearable spectacles that translate foreign text into your native tongue as you read. (Sounds like a feature Google Glass needs.)
As demonstrated at Japan's CEATEC consumer electronics show, the Intelligent Glasses translate Japanese, Korean, Chinese and English in real time. Once a swath of text is placed in front of the glasses, the character recognition technology kicks into gear, resulting in a projected image of translated text which is layered over the original foreign text. Translation processing time currently clocks in at over five seconds for the prototype.
Intelligent Glasses can also manipulate virtual images in the wearer's field of vision on a blank, flat surface. Using a ring that tracks hand movements back to the glasses, the wearer can interact with the projected image, which turns a surface into a touchscreen, allowing them to "touch" tags only they can see.
And like a CIA agent, Intelligent Glasses's facial recognition feature can summon the personal details of someone in viewing range of the glasses. The information, which could include their name, job title and other personal details, is pulled up using data retrieved from a smartphone's remote server.
Currently, developers are working towards a release date in the year 2020, to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics. Improvements in size, weight, and battery life are among NTT Docomo's goals. The company hopes the glasses will result in an increase in tourism.