Whoa, sometimes something arrives on the scene and you’re suddenly aware that technology can still surprise you, and that’s the case with this new free browser addon which does some amazing stuff.
Project Naptha is a browser utility (currently only Chrome at the moment, but other browsers are on their way) which can highlight, copy and translate text embedded on any image. It will also eventually be able to translate text on images, which is moving somewhere beyond amazing.
The software uses some pretty clever tech to do all the work, and in our tests it’s clear that the technology (especially some of the heavy weight OCR type stuff for recognizing text) is not yet completely solid. We got garbled results from quite a few adverts and magazine front pages we tried, although Time magazine worked fine for some reason.
However, the one bit that did blow us away, was the text removal, which seems to work much better by using context aware settings to wipe away the letters and leave the image underneath intact. What this will do to the watermarked image market we have no idea. The developer gives a number of cool use cases, including copying scanned documents, charts, and even photos of book covers and contents.
Overall it’s an astonishing bit of work, and one that will probably sweep the web, once people catch on to how easy it is to use. Just highlight the text you want to grab or erase, right mouse click and select copy or erase (or translate if you’re looking for a translation). That’s it. As we said the results are a little patchy at the moment, but once the tech matures (and maybe more recognition engines are employed) the results should start to pick up. But meanwhile, wow.
Oh and check out the Easter Egg above (click rapidly on the text on an image to find it).