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You Want This Amazing Smartphone App Immediately

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Last December, footage hit the web of arguably the most revolutionary app to hit any smartphone yet. Called Word Lens, the app translates words from English to Spanish and vice versa. Not in a Google Translate sort of way. No, this app actually translates text in real time via augmented reality -- meaning, you hold the phone's camera up to a Spanish sign and the words are translated into English by rearranging the sign. So, on your smartphone screen, you see an English sign.

This is now the benchmark. Word Lens is arguably the most technically advanced app ever, or -- at the very least -- the one with the most flair.

So how can any other developer compete? Especially on the augmented reality front?

If done right, Augmented Reality Cinema could come close.

Still in development, Augmented Reality Cinema displays scenes from films shot in the areas where your smartphone camera is pointed. For example, you point your iPhone or Android at the NY fire station at N. Moore and Varick, and you could see Pete Venkman and Ray Stanz discussing the cost of converting a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor into Ecto-1. Aim it at the Empire State Building, and you could see a 24-foot ape swatting at biplanes.

How cool is that?

Right now, only a proof of concept video of the app exists. Hopefully during development, they'd be able to align the film clips -- through zooms and pan-and-scan -- to better match where the camera is held. (And that it won't be limited to London locations.)

But on its own, it's still pretty darn nifty.

(See also: Amazing iPhone App Proves We Live in the Future and Android's Best Feature Just Got Better)

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