A new kind of eyewear that can translate Japanese characters real-time has been unveiled at one of Japan’s largest gadget fairs in Tokyo. Ostensibly, a user unfamiliar with the language can go through a restaurant menu written purely in Japanese without any trouble, as the pair of glasses will make the translation available to the user, overlays the wearer’s natural language onto the unfamiliar Japanese text, making things such as road signs and menus instantly understandable.
Japan’s largest mobile carrier and telecommunications outfit NTT Docomo is the developer of the said gadget, unveiling it at this year’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) Japan fair. The high technology eyewear uses a combination of cameras, computers and a little know-how on the user’s side to give a good translation of the language the wearer might be looking at. “Character recognition technology enables instant language translation for users travelling abroad and reading restaurant menus and other documents,” Docomo said in a statement.
This is probably good news for foreign travellers who will be visiting Japan, where menus in English and other languages are not commonly available outside the major tourist areas. As Japan gears up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, these glasses could be all the rage for visitors who want to sample the famous Japanese cuisine without fear of not knowing what it is that they are eating. NTT Docomo said that the glasses will likely be ready for the return of the Summer Olympics to Tokyo by 2020.