Google Goggles is a visual search that works best on objects like books and DVDs as well as landmarks

Google has launched an experimental product dubbed Goggles that allows smart-phone users to search for subjects simply by snapping a picture of them.  The free application is only available on mobiles using Google’s Android operating system, leaving iPhone and Blackberry fans empty-handed. (Video)


A Google spokesman has confirmed they will plan to ‘quickly develop’ the tool for other handsets but have not set any dates.

Once users have downloaded the app using Google Goggles is a fairly simple process.

Users focus their phone’s camera on an object and Google will try to match portions of the picture with the tens of millions of images in its database, a spokesman for the search company said.

Project manager Shailesh Nalawadi added: ‘You see the exact product matched in your search results, without  typing or saying a word.’ 

The tool works best with stationary objects like books, DVDs and artwork.

For places, users will simply be able to hold their phone in front of the place they are interested in and the Goggles application will use the phone’s GPS and compass to determine what that place is and display its name on the camera viewfinder.

Mr Nalawadi said: ‘Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. For many search queries, using an image to search is easier and more useful than text alone, especially on a mobile phone.

‘We are hard at work extending our recognition capabilities. You can imagine a future where visual searching is as natural as pointing your finger.’

But he added: ‘Visual recognition technology is in its infancy, so it doesn’t work well yet on food, cars, plants or animals.’

Google Goggles is available as a free download from Android Marketplace. A number of users have posted their test searches on YouTube following the launch on Monday.

The search firm also announced that real-time news from the popular micro-blogging website Twitter would start appearing in its English-language search results on Google.com.

A Google spokesman said: ‘Now, immediately after conducting a search, you’ll be able to see live updates from people on popular sites like Twitter and Friendfeed, as well as headlines from news and blog posts that have been published seconds ago.’

‘All of these updates are ranked to show the freshest, most relevant results related to what you’re looking for.’

Watch a video about Google Goggles…


Via Daily Mail