PixTalk — Wandering about a foreign country and wondering where you can get your hands on a deadly weapon? Well, there’s an app for that!
In all seriousness, though you could conceivably convey that very message (or one much more frightening) with Space Lama’s PixTalk, the whole point of this app is based on that age-old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
PixTalk is an app designed to allow users to convey their meaning through pictures when verbal communication fails. The best instance of PixTalk's use is traveling where language barriers prevent you from finding a bathroom, a restaurant with WiFi, a medical facility, or a retailer of feminine hygiene products.
PixTalk features a lot of quality images of everyday things (and some not so everyday) that you can group together to try to convey your meaning to another person. In many ways, pointing to a picture could be much easier and quicker than trying to whip out a translation app and then butchering the phrase, which could lead to further miscommunication. After all, a picture of a phone booth, plate and cutlery, or a doctor, are pretty universal. It would be an exaggeration to say that PixTalk would allow you to convey every possible question or sentiment, but it truly could facilitate easy communication.
Summarized as having hundreds of pictures that you can access through basic categories, PixTalk literally does have hundreds of pictures and there are even more possibilities if you combine two pictures. The app allows you to zoom in on a particular item within a picture, which is quite cool, and there is an included drawing tool that allows you to circle or otherwise mark an image. The drawing tool is a nice inclusion, but lacks a user-friendly touch at present, rendering it useful only when absolutely necessary to make a point.
Though there is no way to upload your own photos, which would be a tremendous improvement as far as building on the communication abilities of PixTalk, the included photos are pretty comprehensive as far as people, places, and things go. The categories across the bottom are broken down into easy to navigate icons such as transportation, food, lodging, random images, and even a few emoticons.
Overall, PixTalk is a pretty unique idea with room for growth. It could easily be worth having if you communicate even one question successfully. If you are a frequent traveler and don’t mind approaching perfect strangers to point at pictures to ask a question, then PixTalk will serve you well.
The one problem I see is what happens when your foreign Good Samaritan tries to answer your question. Do you hand over your iPhone for them to utilize PixTalk for the answer or do you just hope you can understand their pantomimed response?