Okay, you’ve probably heard about this already, since it seems to be spreading across the internet like some sort of tube based wildfire/hot cakes hybrid, but it’s still awesome. Check this out:
This is exactly the sort of thing I love to see as an app on a smart phone. It’s a very cool use of augmented reality, it’s actually very useful, and it has a near perfect user interface. As in: the interface (and the device itself) essentially becomes invisible. You’re left looking through a magic window into a world in which you can read all of the writing. I’ve been playing with it and it’s very, very cool. It’s not perfect yet, and tends not to deliver imperfect translations (occasionally with hilarious results) and bad grammar, but it seems to be close enough most of the time for you to understand the general meaning. I recommend downloading the (free) app just to play with the demos. They let you either remove words from the scene or reverse the order of the letters; the language packs cost extra. You can find the developer’s website here.
Disclaimer: this may sound like an advert, but it’s not. I’ve received nothing from these guys. I just think this is really, really cool.