Google sticks goggles on the iPhone
Fanboys get to squint at product logos too
Google is rolling out its Goggles product as part of an update to its iPhone suite, taking iPhone users right up to the bleeding edge of what even Google can achieve.
We say "bleeding edge" advisedly, as Google Goggles is a very ambitious attempt to trigger internet searches based on photographs, and one that (in our experience) barely works. The app is still officially a beta product, and has been available for Android for around a year, but now iPhone users can join the fun of taking photographs and then watching Google fail to identify them.
The updated Google Mobile App is already in the UK app store, and will be spreading around the world over the next few days.
Google makes it clear that the application won't work properly with people or pets, or cars, or furniture, or plants, but it does work with books, CDs and such like - easily picking out the better-known company (and publisher) logos. Apparently it's also good on landmarks, and sure enough Goggles successfully spotted the Arc de Triomphe, though it comprehensively failed to identify the World's Largest Thermometer - surely a landmark of equal importance.
In addition to being unable to recognise obscure Americana, Goggles also requires a clear framing of the picture and decent lighting. This takes up time which could be better spent typing in a text-based search. But if you fancy seeing what the future will be like then it's worth a look, even if it will also remind you that the future is some way off. ®
Credit where it's due
I love the way that you're picking on the search that is obviously still in Beta, and the only search of it's kind that will allow you to look for information on items by a photo alone.
How exactly are you going to do a text search when you don't know what you're looking at, and want to find out information? You use Google Goggles, that's how!
Every book that I've looked for using Goggles has come up, every album too, even the more obscure ones in my collection.
Try actually appreciating the product for what it can do, and then maybe pick on the other companies for them failing to achieve the same thing...
And what happens when Apples 'me, too' software arrives?
Apple has also acquired a company with similar technology, so what happens when Apple decides to pull rank and decide whether Apple or Google software prevails?
It's pretty good at translating text into another language. It certianly saves the hassle of typing out a long passage of text.
I used Goggles whilst in Italy, as there were some items on the menu I didn't understand. It did an OCR translation of the menu for me. How neat is that?
Die Katze in der hut
Now if they could make this work in real time with labels above all recognised objects, in a language of one's choice, that would really help me with my German language course. And then if they could put this into some actual goggles that would be awesome too.