Google acquires Quest Visual, parent company of Word Lens

Posted May 18, 2014

Google has acquired Quest Visual, the parent company of Word Lens for an undisclosed sum. The Quest Visual team will be joining Google Translate.

“By joining Google, we can incorporate Quest Visual’s technology into Google Translate’s broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future,” said Quest Visual in a statement. “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 Word Lens app for Android, iOS, and Google Glass can translate printed words when you point the device’s camera at menu, street signs, posters, etc. The Word Lens app replaces the text in the image with a translation. Language packs are sold as in-app purchases.

Word Lens was also developing reading technology to assist the visually impaired when the company was acquired.