At this point, it’s more surprising when Google can’t do something, rather than when the wide-ranging company amazes users with yet another incredible feature or service. Today, news broke of yet another new ability Google is looking to add to its superior suite: visual text-translation.

A company called Quest Visual, the maker of the Word Lens app, announced on its site that it’s joining the Google family, Word Lens, if you didn’t know, is a powerful little translation tool that uses your mobile device’s built-in camera to translate text you encounter in the real world into a language you might be better able to understand – and it does it all in real-time.

“By joining Google,” says the post, “we can incorporate Quest Visual’s technology into Google Translate’s broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future.”

Best of all, Quest Visual is looking to hook users up with free goodies while it’s in the process of getting acquired:

“As a thank you to everybody who supported us on our journey, we’ve made both the app and the language packs free to download for a limited time while we transition to Google.”

The app is available for Android and iOS devices, not to mention Google Glass. That last one seems like it’d be a really useful addition for Explorers out there in unfamiliar territory. An app like Word Lens changing words directly in front of you brings us all a step closer to a Star Trek-style Universal Translator. That’s amazing!

I had never heard of this app until today, and now that I have it on my phone, I plan on doing lots of translating out in the world. Can you imagine the kind of cool stuff we’re going to get now that Google has its hands on Word Lens and all of Quest Visual’s translation smarts? I can’t wait.

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[Quest Visual]

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