In his keynote speech today at the Mobile Web Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Google CEO Eric Schmidt showed off what could end up being a crucial tool for anyone trying to figure out a menu in a different language or a street sign in a foreign country. Google Goggles, which creates search queries based on images instead of typed-in keywords, will soon start to be able to translate from foreign languages using Google Translate. It will do this using optical character recognition to first convert the images of letters into words it can understand, and then put those through Google translate.
Schmidt showed an image of an Android phone translating “Spring salad with wild herbs and parmesan cheese wrapped in bacon” from the German. (MobileCrunch editor Greg Kumparak took the photo at left). Of course, Google Translate often gets the translations wrong, to humorous effect. But even a partial translation is better than nothing when you don’t speak the language. Google Translate works in more than 50 languages.
Schmidt also revealed that 60,000 Android phones are being sold each day now.