This week lots of men and women in suits with funny pink name tags around their necks have been wandering the streets of Barcelona for the World Mobile Congress. Early reports suggest it's been another rip-roaring success and Barcelona has also secured the conference for another two years, keeping the mayor and the tourist office happy.
Some great things come out of the congress, such as Vodafone's launch of new very basic mobile phones which will cost as little as 15 Euros, and are planned to help connect poor countires such as Africa and other ciommunities which are not "connected" but need to be. There was also a funny alcohol breathaliser contraption you could attach to your mobile - allegedly marketed for "professional drivers" and not your everyday citizen who thinks they should be ok to take the car home after a few cheeky beers.
However, one of the best things I've seen for a long time was Google's announcement of the new translation feature through Google goggles. Google goggles is an image recognition service used through a mobile device's camera. At the moment, and as far as I can tell as I don't have it, you can point your camera to monuments like, say, the Eiffel Tower, and Google will tell you what it is. I know, I know - why do you need your phone to tall you what the Eiffel tower is? Bear with me.
So the cool thing is that Google showed an example of the goggles programme translating a German Menu into English - in real time - and by taking a photo of it. How cool is that, potentially?! I personally have been to cities in thw world and walked past restaurants that look great, but have no English menu (or any other language to try and guess) and always feel to silly to just sit down and hope the waiter can help me. This could spell the end for embarrassing orders from menus, and not even for restaurants, for example, the possibilities are endless. And obviously the potential for Google to cash in is huge, too, given that the application runs on Google's android system, and likely nothing else either.
Coming to Barcelona this month? Don't worry! The menus in the restaurants aren't that difficult to work out?! Also, check out these self-catering apartments in Barcelona, and cook in!! For a look at the main sights and help plan, check out this Barcelona Guide.