With the launch of the new social media network Google+, it led me to muddle through other Google applications in their Google Mobile division. I stumbled upon Google Goggles. First thought that came to mind was Rocky the squirrel (from the cartoon Rockey and Bullwinkle) with his goggles on and his finger up saying “ah-ha”.
What is Google Goggles you ask?
The application allows you to take a picture with your mobile phone and it searches the web to show your results. According to the Google Goggles’ support overview page, the best search queries are: books/dvd’s, landmarks, barcodes/QR codes, logos, contact info, artwork, businesses, products and text. But not so good at animals, plants, cars, furniture and apparel.
Despite not being able to take a picture of a car and having Google Goggles tell me what make/model it is (that’s what the boyfriend is for, right?); the feature that sold me was the text search. I’m a big traveler at heart, and it has the ability to take a picture of a menu in a foreign language and have it translated into English for me – how awesome is that!? Definitely puts traveling to a whole new level.
Artwork recognition sounds pretty neat too. Go to a museum, take a picture of it and get endless history on it on the web instead of renting one of those silly audio tour guide headphones like these folks.
Google Goggles makes grabbing contact information a breeze. Take a picture of someone’s business card and voila, into your address book it goes. No more typing required!
There is definitely a limitation to this application (like any other) and that is you need a data plan on your mobile phone for this to work. Traveling with a data plan can get pretty pricey with roaming charges. Other limitations are venues (like museums) that do not allow pictures to be taken or perhaps lighting is too dark for a picture to be taken and flash is not allowed in the venue.
However, despite the limitations, technology has come a long way and Google Goggles is definitely in my “like” category.
Go Google Goggles! (Say that 3 times fast.)
* * *