At this year’s IT Month Show in Taiwan, a company called Funwish is asking travellers to Chinese speaking countries to throw away their Chinese dictionaries and guidebooks and instead replace them with the HuayuNavi app. Scheduled for release in March of 2011 for both Android and iphone, HuayuNavi claims to be able to instantly translate Chinese from a photograph. Scroll down for the video.
In the video below, it is explained that after taking a photo of some Chinese text with your mobile phone’s camera, you will be able to use the HuayuNavi “service” to obtain a translation of the text into the language of your choice, including both Pinyin and Zhuyin pronunciation! It’s not clear whether the service refers to the app on the phone itself, or whether the photo will be sent to the Funwish servers for processing and so requiring a data connection to use. (update: Thanks to Connie from Funwish for clearing this up in the comments! The app will require a data connection to send the photo for processing) Either way this will be a great app for travellers and learners of Chinese alike, and together with the recently released Optical Character Recogniser-equipped Pleco dictionary means you really have no excuse for fumbling your Chinese again.
From the looks of some of the screenshot it seems like you’ll also be able to share the words that you have found and translated on all the usual social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Plurk and also your own blog.
It’s also nice to see an Android release, since as of yet the Pleco dictionary with Optical Character Recogniser is iPhone only. As soon as this is available we’ll have a review ready!