When Google launched Goggles this week, I had to read it twice. It looked like Google x 2.
You can find Google Goggles inside the Google Mobile App for the iPhone and the coolest thing about it is that you can now do searches by taking a picture with your iPhone. It also comes with voice search.
I’ll start with voice search. I’m not too happy with it so far. I did a search on KFC’s near me. The app had no problems hearing me but the result it brought back was KFC in Singapore, hundreds and hundreds of miles away. I was within walking distance, in fact, I was staring at a KFC and it wasn’t showing up in the search. Same thing happened when I searched for pizza. Next I searched for thechannelc and it started acting like it had trouble hearing. I got The Chelsea. One more time and I got Gretchen Rossi. Hmm. Ok, so it works very well for restaurant searches in a neighboring country now let’s try photo search.
I took a shot of a billboard and Google Goggles’ scan picked up the advertiser’s logo and instantly brought up the company’s webpage. Whoa. That was really impressive. Next I took a picture of my dog hoping Google will bring back some useful information about his breed, dog training tips or pet stores nearby but it could not recognize the image. It was my bad, I didn’t read the manual. Found out later, what works and what doesn’t from the app’s tutorial. It won’t work on animals.
I do think GG has a lot of potential. The picture search feature brings us closer to the augmented reality concept I read on Matthew Buckland’s blog where you can point your camera phone at someone’s face and see all his digital profiles like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin (including prison record) pop up on the screen. A bit like SoundHound, an app that listens to a tune and comes back with the name of the song, lyrics and a button to get it instantly from iTunes. I wonder why Google hadn’t come up with music search. Anyways, I think picture search from Google Goggles is awesome and I’m keeping an eye on it. I’m not too crazy about voice search but it’ll be interesting to see how it develops too.