Read the Writing on the Wall

Prototype: Tell Schweineschnitzel from Schweinemagen with this PDA.

Photograph by John B. Carnett

Photograph by John B. Carnett

Don't know your Schweineschnitzel (steak) from your Schweinemagen (pig's stomach)? IBM's menu and street-sign translator may prevent a culinary catastrophe. The prototype is a PDA with a clip-on camera. Pictures are sent wirelessly to an IBM server, characters identified, and text sent back. Not the best way to read Molire, but it does translate the basics with few errors. The device could be available in two years.