I recently went on a trip to Phuket and while I liked the place quite a bit, I felt a little handicapped on the roads and in most shops where I could make no sense of the signs, hoardings, pamphlets or the details mentioned on products as simple as a bag of chips. Also, having to whip out my phone to use the translate every few minutes to check ingredients of food products (because I am a vegetarian) was particularly exhausting. This was the inspiration behind my idea.
The idea is to have smart sunglasses that read and translate all texts you see in real-time, available on rent at airports and other major entry points in a country where tourism contributes significantly to the GDP.
It will work as any smart glass currently under development with the following differences:
It will provide only one functionality- real-time text translation. It will simply translate all text the wearer views through the glass into a pre-selected language of his/her choice.
It will only detect text viewed by the wearer, it will not detect faces or places or other surroundings – this will help address the privacy and security concerns associated with smart glasses that have an in-built camera.
It will double as sunglasses. This will be a helpful feature for tourists who are out in the sun trying to read hoardings, signs and billboards.
The upcoming smart glasses in the market offer a wide array of functionalities such as calling, viewing text messages and notifications, communicating with Alexa/Siri, speech recognition and translation, image recognition etc. which not only make them expensive, but also raise concerns over privacy because these smart glasses can take photos, record videos and capture conversations.
The “not-so-smart” glass described here allows a potentially cheap solution for a single use case – Travelling, that fulfils the need of the tourist by performing only a single basic function - Text translation, without raising privacy concerns (by recognising only text and not faces, specifically).
If such an option is made available to rent to tourists at airports it will offer an additional income source to the tourism board while providing convenience to tourists at an affordable cost (assuming that sunglasses with inbuilt camera performing only text translation function would be significantly cheaper to make compared to the other multifunctional smart glasses).
What do you guys think of the following:
Can the smart glasses be made such that they also perform the function of sunglasses?
Can these glasses be trained to only selectively recognize/detect text from an image in real-time, to do away with the privacy concerns?
Can these glasses be made at an affordable price-point?
Is offering them on rent at airports and other major tourist attraction sites in tourism heavy countries a good business model?