The advent of an online giant search engine called Google has made matters simple for not only people involved in research, but business persons and home users alike. Apart from the facility it provides for people who need to search for specific topics on the Internet, it has a host of other applications like YouTube where you can watch free videos online; Orkut that is a social media website; Google maps that lets you find any location you enter; Google Earth that reflects satellite images of a particular area; and many more.
A very recent feature that Google has come up with is Google Goggles, a downloadable image recognition application. As a beta version, it is currently found in the Google labs and it is currently used for searches based on pictures taken by handheld devices. For instance, if a picture of a famous landmark is taken, the application would search for information about it and taking a picture of a product’s barcode would search for information on that product.
The particular application would have a variety of uses, by being capable of virtually identifying almost anything. At present, the system is able to identify various landmarks or labels that allow the users to learn about such items without the need of a text based search. By identifying barcodes, users are allowed to search for similar prices and products and also save codes for future references.
While Google Goggles are currently available only in beta versions for Android phones, Google has already decided to make the software run on other platforms, like on the iPhone and Blackberry devices. On October 5, 2010 to be precise, Google announced about the availability of the Google Goggles application on iPhone devices.
The feature has been added by Google to its Google Mobile App for iPhone and the latest version is available now in the App store. However, it is only available for the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4 running iOS 4 or above as of now. This is because Google Goggles requires an auto-focusing camera.
For activating Goggles, you would need to tap on the camera button within the app. The Goggles application would then highlight the objects in the image, analyze them and would display results after you click on them for finding more.
In the blog post, Google cleared the speculations by saying that Goggles is still a Labs project, and that it would not work with every image. It works well for things such as logos, landmarks, and covers of DVDs, books and games; however it doesn’t work for other images like those of plants, animals or food.
No doubt it is a very ambitious attempt by Google, is very innovative in its idea and very handy in theory as well. However its success depends on how Google builds up on this idea. As for now, it may not be very applicable because of it analyzing information only on specific pictures.