In a piece of very happy news, David Petrou, a project lead for Google speaking at the Hot Chips symposium, announced that Google Goggles will be coming to the App Store by years end. If you've never seen it in action, Google Goggles is just about the neatest thing to hit the mobile world, well, since the iPhone.
What Google Goggles does is take images from your phones camera and then runs a search on them. For example, if you take a picture of the cover of a book, Google Goggles will identify the book and run a search, giving you info and purchase options. What's really cool though is that you can also search for artwork in museums, famous landmarks, famous faces, text on a page, and more.
Like most things in life though, the app is not always correct and doesn't have every place or item in its database. Yet. According to Petro, "New photos compared to the database can be correctly identified about 50 to 60 percent of the time, with a false positive rate of about one in 10,000." According to a review in the Washington Post, the results are sometimes a bit puzzling. "While Goggles could recognize the UPC for a 15.4-inch MacBook Pro as well as the box the MacBook came in, it oddly didn't recognize the distinctive Apple logo on the box."
According to the promo youtube video, future versions of Google Goggles will be able to do far more things than the current version, including "suggesting moves in a chess game and identifying a plant from the picture of a leaf." There are also plans to use augmented reality rather than using pictures, something that could definitely make the experience much better.
Be sure to look out for Google Goggles in the App Store before years end. The best part is that like most things Google, it'll be free.