Earlier today, Google updated its Mobile App for iPhone
to include Google Goggles
. Goggles first appeared about a year ago on the Android platform and is now finally available for the iPhone 4 and 3GS. This update allows users to perform search functions using pictures instead of text. For example, if a user wants to know more about a particular bridge, but doesn’t know the name of it, taking a picture in Google Goggles will bring up search results and give you more info about the bridge.
“Goggles will analyze the image and highlight the objects it recognizes -- just click on them to find out more.” Said Milan Broum, Software Engineer for the Google Mobile Team.
This update will be available worldwide starting today, but it is currently only enabled for English-speaking users. Also, only iPhones that have an autofocus camera will be able to use Goggles. Google states that “Computer vision is a hard problem” so this is still a Labs Product, meaning that it’s still in beta, essentially.
Google also states that Goggles works best when taking pictures of landmarks, books, DVDs, artwork, logos, businesses, barcodes and most products. Animals, furniture and apparel probably won’t work, however, but this is sure to change as the software matures.
Having just tried out Goggles a few minutes ago, I can tell you that it does seem to work. It correctly identified a couple of books, a soda can and a DVD. It could not identify my old Newton MessagePad 2000, however, but that’s not too surprising considering it’s been out of production for years. Now that Google can correctly recognize items in pictures, can actual Android robot be far behind?