Dubai-based airline Emirates is behind an amazing new Apple iPhone language application which acts as a translation tool by taking a picture of the handset users mouth and then animates it to produce a range of handy phrases.
Built by Lean Mean Fighting Machine in London to translate English into French, German and Arabic, the app is a bit rough around the edges and tricky to set up initially — but it works.
Here is a demo video.
First you take a photo of your mouth. then the app works by taking the digitized picture and working out where the corners of the mouth and lip line are located. (Hint: If you’ve ever created a funny card at JibJab, you know what’s entailed).
Users can then select topic areas such airport, inflight, taxi, hotel, sightseeing and shopping and choose a phrase — “Could I have an aisle seat”, “Could we leave our baggage here?”, “Could you rub some suncream into my back?” etc — to animate and reproduce with audio using their lips.
You can select a male or female voice and adjust the pitch to make it deeper or higher. Each language has a full version with all 400 phrases, or a ‘Lite’ version that can be downloaded via 3G.
It’s clear from the video that it breaks the ice immediately, even in France!
Clever, funny and so, so useful.
The only question is: When will we get the Spanish Language version?