The glasses, which are still in the prototype stage but should be ready in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, also turn flat surfaces into touch screens and identify people through face recognition.

Showcased by NTT Docomo at CEATEC Japan, the company said, “Character recognition technology enables instant language translation for users travelling abroad and reading restaurant menus and other documents.”

The head-mounted display can translate Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean languages.

 If you’ve stepped out without your iPad, you can also use the glasses to virtually transform a blank, flat surface into a touch screen. Plus, you will never have that sinking “I’ve completely forgotten your name” feeling again as the glasses use facial recognition to call up the name and job details of someone on request, using smartphone databases.

The device isn’t exactly slick at this stage, with the glasses looking like something Robocop’s geeky younger brother might wear, but with seven more years to develop them, we reckon we’ll be donning a pair and impressing our mates with our ‘fluent Japanese’ – at least when it comes to reading menus.