Friday, June 21, 2013

Optical Character Recognition - OCR - with Google Glass

Imagine that you are reading a book, a business flyer or a menu with Google Glass and that this text is immediately scanned and converted into digital text.
Then the (digital) text fragment:

  • can be translated to another language with Google Translate,
  • Can be stored with Google Keep, 
  • Can be copied in a document that you are working on,
  • Can be shared with friends via Google+ or Social media,
  • Can be sent as message or as an attachment. 
Over time (and after those text fragments have been collected) it will be possible to have a book read aloud in a language of your choice. As a result it will be possible for all books worldwide to be read aloud for everyone.

Google will store all these book fragments and any translations on their servers so that you have to wait less long to be read to and to avoid unnecessary duplication of books taking up space and slowing down your device. Google Books was a previous attempt.

This happens already with all readable information from websites worldwide. Google makes a copy at regular times of all the websites and stores them on their servers. By doing this, you will receive a much quicker response to your searches then when no copies had been made.

In the future, the following will be possible with Google Glass:

  • to read or be read to:
  • writings from the Middle Ages,
  • Or Latin inscriptions of the Romans,
  • Or inscriptions in original dialects,
  • Or hieroglyphics from about 5000 years ago
In a language of your choice, when it was already translated and corrected by (enough) others.

This new technology will be embraced by students and become an indispensable tool to study. With Google Glass they will be able to

  • save the text fragments they have to study to Google Keep,
  • listen to the text fragments again (the material can be repeated several times)
  • The collected text fragments can be re-bundled in any new form, such as a magazine, a newspaper or a presentation.

The question whether or not textbooks will still be needed presents itself. Probably not in their current form and size. Books that are updated frequently will initially only be distributed digitally and possibly only available on paper when especially ordered.

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