When it hit the App Store this week I compared iOS app Word Lens to magic, but it seems to have drawn the ire of several of its users.
Since its release, Word Lens has been hammered with bad feedback on the App Store. It currently has a two-star average rating with 720 (out of 1296) users rated it one-star (and many requesting refunds).
Patrick Questembert, founder of Scanbizcards.com and developer of a leading iPhone business card scanning app shared his insight about Word Lens.
We don't compete with Word Lens at all but share the same technology - OCR - so we know all too well the challenges in accurate text recognition - not easy even on good photos let alone when taking into account noisy field conditions.
Word Lens is slow, inaccurate, extremely sensitive to light conditions, focus, how noisy the background is and whether the font is standard enough - just to name a few. It's the nature of OCR, much like speech recognition, it is still a work in progress and not as smooth as portrayed in the app description. The fact they support only one language and still charge $5 for it doesn't help: there is no objective measure for what an app is worth but in iPhone standards this is expensive. But wait, that's not all: once you paid $5, you only get one direction (say English -> Spanish), you need to pay $5 more to get the other direction (Spanish -> English).
What's your take on Word Lens? Potentially useful? Or all hype?