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28 February 2008 The Rosetta phone: a hand-held device for automatic translation of signs in natural images
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Proceedings Volume 6821, Multimedia on Mobile Devices 2008; 68210E (2008)
Event: Electronic Imaging, 2008, San Jose, California, United States
When traveling in a region where the local language is not written using the Roman alphabet, translating written text (e.g., documents, road signs, or placards) is a particularly difficult problem since the text cannot be easily entered into a translation device or searched using a dictionary. To address this problem, we are developing the "Rosetta Phone," a handheld device (e.g., PDA or mobile telephone) capable of acquiring a picture of the text, identifying the text within the image, and producing both an audible and a visual English interpretation of the text. We started with English, as a developement language, for which we achieved close to 100% accuracy in identifying and reading text. We then modified the system to be able to read and translate words written using the Arabic character set. We currently achieve approximately 95% accuracy in reading words from a small directory of town names.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Syed Ali Raza Jafri, Aravind K. Mikkilineni, Mireille Boutin, and Edward J. Delp "The Rosetta phone: a hand-held device for automatic translation of signs in natural images", Proc. SPIE 6821, Multimedia on Mobile Devices 2008, 68210E (28 February 2008);


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