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New Visual Search Service: Google Goggles

google-goggles.gifA new service called Google Goggles has been launched by Google labs. It is intended to let consumers use the camera on their phone as an input for search: simply point the phone’s camera at an object, and then receive back information about that object.

MobiAD news has previously talked quite a bit about the mobile camera as an important future interface for consumer engagement, and this new product from Google strongly supports that view.

(see the MobiAD article: Visual Interactivity:The Next Great Way To Engage Consumers)

Although Google admits that this is still in its infancy (it was, after all, released by Google Labs), it still points to some of the applications that will be enabled by this type of technology. The Google Goggle site provides 7 examples of where this could be very handy:

  • recognizing Landmarks
  • recognizing Books
  • recognizing Contact Info
  • recognizing Artwork
  • recognizing Places
  • recognizing Wine
  • recognizing Logos

In Google’s perspective, this new capability results from a combination of advances in the “Three C’s“, namely:

  • Computing – handsets are much more powerful, full featured
  • Connectivity – mobile networks are much faster
  • Cloud – there are enormous computing resources located in data centers which can be accessed by the handsets through the network.

In his post on the Google blog, Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra said that the other new products announced simultaneously with Google Goggles – namely Japanese Voice Search and a “What’s Nearby” feature for Google Maps – were also a result of these advances in the Three C’s.


Mobile Acuity is another leading company in the field of visual interactivity and visual search. CEO Anthony Ashbrook commented, “We have always believed that using the mobile phone’s camera for search will bring tremendous benefits to consumers. It’s a difficult problem, but the technology to do this has matured to the point where applications such as visual product and location search are workable today”

(see related release: Mobile Acuity closes new funding round to advance mobile 3-D recognition)

And here is the video that Google produced to explain their new product.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="300" height="260" wmode="transparent" /]

Related reading:
• Google Goggles page on Google Labs
• Google mobile blog
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