March 3, 2011 | by Lars Aronsson
Augmented reality apps usually display real-time information on top of what you see through the camera of your Android device. A fairly new dictionary app by Edulang uses a similar concept; it lets you point your phone’s camera towards a piece of English writing, and then touch the word you want to learn more about.
For example, if you’re reading a book or an article and you come across an English word that you’re not fully sure what it means, you can launch SnaPanda and touch the word on your screen, and the app will automatically look it up for you. Edulang’s custom algorithm grabs the words, and then they’re scanned using OCR technology.
This may seem less convenient than to simply type the word you want to look up, but there are situations when SnaPanda’s approach likely is more suitable – and foremost, it’s probably more fun. I used the app to bring up the definition of a couple of words, and it usually performed well.
SnaPanda also has a MultiWord mode (update: the app now automatically suggests expressions instead) that lets you add several words in order to obtain the definition of entire expressions, and you can save your own word lists. Check out the demo video below if you want to see the app in action. SnaPanda is available for free in the Market.