Google’s philosophy has always been to build for everyone -- to break down language barriers, make knowledge accessible, and enable people to communicate how they want and what they want, effortlessly. In India, our rich diversity of languages presents an exciting challenge especially in the context of millions of new users coming online every day. Nine out of ten of these new users are non-English speakers. While many would be fluent at speaking and understanding their native language, there are others who might struggle when it comes to reading and writing it.
Google Assistant has made it easy for users in India to find answers and get things done on their devices using their voice. Since its launch at Google for India in 2017, we’ve worked hard to bring more helpful features like integrated voice typing on KaiOS, voice-based language selection, and support for Indian languages to help first-time internet users overcome barriers to literacy and interact with technology and their devices more naturally.
At Google I/O in 2019, we brought camera-based translation to Google Lens to help you understand information you find in the real world. With Lens, you can point your camera at text you see and translate it into more than 100 languages. Lens can even speak the words out loud in your preferred language. We brought these Lens capabilities to Google Go, too, so even those on the most affordable smartphones can access them.
Today we are extending this capability to the millions of Google Assistant users on KaiOS devices in India. From Assistant, they can click the camera icon to simply point their phone at real-world text (like a product label, street sign, or document, for example,) and have it read back in their preferred language, translated, or defined. Just long press the center button from the home screen to get started with Assistant.
Within Google Assistant, KaiOS users can now use Google Lens to read, translate and define words in the real word
It is currently available for English and several Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi and Tamil, and will soon be available in Kannada and Gujarati. Users can simply press the right soft key once within Assistant to access and use this feature.
This is another step in our commitment to make language more accessible to everyone, and we hope this will enable millions of KaiOS users across the country to have a more seamless language experience.
Posted by Shriya Raghunathan, Product Manager Google Assistant, and Harsh Kharbanda, Product Manager Google Lens