SAN FRANCISCO: Google confirmed it has bought a startup specializing in using smartphones to translate signs, billboards or other written words in real time. Quest Visual and the technology built into its Word Lens application will become part of a Google team devoted to developing translation features and services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and Google declined to make any comment on the record. “With word Lens, We’ve seen the beginnings of what’s possible when we harness the power of mobile devices to see the world in your language” Quest said in a blog post. World Lens uses Smartphone video cameras to “read” words in one language and translate them into another almost instantly without need for network connections.