Google buys text-translation app, names new Glass chief

|By:, SA News Editor

Google (GOOG +0.1%) has bought Quest Visual, maker of an iOS app (Word Lens) that analyzes/translates text picked up by a device's camera, and places the translated text within a revised image.

Google, which has shown a keen interest in applying A.I./machine learning to a variety of applications, plans to integrate Word Lens' technology with Google Translate. The acquisition follows the launch of Project Tango, an effort to enable Android phones that can create visual maps of a user's surroundings.

Separately, Google has hired Ivy Ross, formerly a marketing exec for several retailers, to head its Glass unit.

Ross, who has also worked at eyewear firms Bausch & Lomb and Outlook, arrives as Glass deals with some well-known image issues ahead of its commercial launch. The $1,500 Explorer Edition of Glass just became available to the general public.