Posts Tagged Google Goggles

Google Goggles Is Here

As much as I hate to say it, the folk over in the Android camp had one thing that I wanted so much that I thought about buying one of their phones. I didn’t, but it was a blip in my thought process.

The feature that I wanted so dearly was Google Goggles, a visual search feature that, up to now, was only available on the Android platform. As of now, Google Goggles is a new feature in the Google Mobile app — you know, the one that lets you speak your searches and gives you locally relevant results.

Instead of going through needless searches to identify a visual object like a building, for example, Google Goggles uses the iPhone camera to identify what is in the picture. Like any new technology, it doesn’t work 100% of the time, and doesn’t recognize somethings like animals, plants, or food, but it does do a great job identifying anything with a clear label (including wine, as shown in the video), various points of interest, and even foreign languages (it’ll translate to English). Give Google some time and I’m sure it’ll identify people and animals (including their names and birthdays), but that’s for the future.

Google Mobile only works with the English language and requires the auto focusing camera of the iPhone 3GS or 4, leaving iPhone 3G owners out of the loop. Like everything Google, the app is also free so be sure to pick it up today!

[Source: Google Blog]

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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.

[Source: PCMag]

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