Word Lens, an app made by Quest Visual has been acquired by Google and the app and its language packs have been made free on the Play Store and on iOS. The app translates text in real time using your smart phones camera, without the use of a data connection. Point your camera at the text an have it translated to or from English in real time. Watch the video demonstration – it really does work that well.
The Word Lens app is designed to translate between English and a second language, having Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese available separate packs. There are Android and iOS apps and there is a Google Glass version which has an obvious potential. After the acquisition the technology involved is to be added to Google Translate and in the long term made more widely available.