You have arrived at your holiday destination and booked onto your hotel and now it is time to go sightseeing, so put on your Google Goggles and head out. Google Goggles is a visual search tool available from Android. It uses your phone’s camera to take a picture of an object in question. These objects can include a landmark, book, logo and even a barcode. Then the application analyses the image and looks for a match in Google’s expansive database and delivers information direct to your mobile phone.
This is a free downloadable application for devices running Android 1.6 or higher. Analysing images is not an exact science, so the team at Google are working very hard to improve the application. Perfecting this form of computer vision is not easy as there are many objects the application will not see. However, it is still an amazing step forward for a company who our dominating online search technologies.
The latest version of Google Goggles now has the ability to translate in real time words and phrases. You can select a word or phase by using the phone’s camera and a visual selection box. If Google recognizes the text it will give you the option to translate it. Currently the application can read English, French, Italian, Germany and Spanish and translate to many other languages. And again the team at Google are working hard to extend the recognition software to include non-Latin languages e.g. Chinese, Hindu and Arabic.
For other mobile uses and travel advisors do not despair, Google plan to make Google Goggles available on other platforms in the near future. So next time you are out and about, do not forget your Google Goggles for a stress free holiday.