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Google Goggles - Visual Search Engine


When you surf the web, you typically search via text. You may even sometimes search by voice commands. Well, leave it to the search engine giant Google to change the way that people use the internet, again.

Google Goggles uses your camera phone and the pictures you take to search the web. As of right now, the visual search option is only available to Android enabled devices. However, the visual search service may become available to any phone with a camera, in the near future. I foresee the ability to upload photos from your home computer and have the Google's search bot cross reference the image with whatever it may be.

Google Goggles is a brand new search concept that is still being developed. Right now the search technology is in it's infancy, but eventually, it will become the next wave of search engine evolution. Due to being new in the search market, Google Goggles will only work with a select few things. Look below for some examples of ways that a person could use the visual search service.

Landmark: Have you ever been lost in another country or maybe even in your own? Regardless of where you are, you notice a landmark and take a snapshot of the location with your phone. Google Goggles will analyze the photo with their satellite imagery and your phone's GPS to find out exactly where you standing. With another Google product, called Maps, a user is able to use their Landmark photo and then get directions to or from it. A user could even use Google Goggles to do a search around that specified area to find local entertainment, stores, restaurants, or anything else.

Book: For instance, you are at the library or a friend's house, and you notice a book cover that catches your attention. Since you want to check out more information about this particular book, you decide to take a snapshot of it for later use. Then, you realize that you already have Google Goggles installed on your mobile device, so you decide to use the service. With the Goggles you are able to locate information about the book such as reader reviews, purchase information, and release date. You can even check to see if it was ever a best seller or possibly find other books related to the topic.

Contact Information: I personally love the concept of using Google Goggles to take a snapshot of a business card. Some of you may be thinking - "I already take snap shots of business cards so I can recall the information later." If you currently are taking snapshots of your collegues businesscards then you have been a step ahead of the game.

With Google Goggles you will be able to take a photo of a business card and upload all the contact information onto your phone or mobile device without having to enter it yourself. What I mean is that, you will no longer have to collect business cards from people you meet. You could simply take a photo of the card and all the info that is on that card will be imported into your contacts. You are able to call that person's cell, office, or even send out an email, moments after taking the photo. (Personally, this would save me quite a bit of time from punching in their name, number, address, email address, and etc.)

Artwork: To be honest, I am horrible with remembering artwork titles and the artist that created them. For this example I am going to place you at a local garage sale. Let's say that you are rummaging around through another person's stuff looking for your treasure. You find a beautiful painting that looks old and has been tossed aside. You decide to cross reference it with Google's database by taking a snap shot. Once you take that picture you find out directly from Google that the artwork, in front of you, is actually worth more than the seller is asking. You would know the title of the painting, when it was created, and who created it. I would think that this type of information would come in handy when you are searching for hidden gems.

Places: Again, I am amazed by how much you could potentially do with a camera phone and Google software. So, in this scenario, you are on vacation in San Diego, California. Since you do not live in this part of the country, you are not familiar with the stores and what they sell. Let's say that you are standing on the sidewalk and decide to get out your camera phone or mobile device and point the camera at a few stores.

When you cross over a store front a little icon pops up in your camera that has the store information right there for you. You do not even have to take a snapshot of the place, but you do have to get it in the camera angle. You can find out store reviews, available products, average costs, and contact details. This is pretty handy since you never had to step foot into the store but found out that it was an adult shop called "My Candies". (Imagine if you didn't have Google Goggles and you hauled your kids into the store to get them candy... That could be an awkward moment.)

Wine: Although I do not drink wine often, I know other people that would use the Wine feature of Google's Goggles. If you are at a restaurant and decide to try a particular brand and decide that you like it, you could always take a photo of it. Once your photo is uploaded into Google you would be able to cross reference it with other restaurants that sell that wine. You could even pinpoint where to purchase it, find out where it is imported from, and the year it was made.

Logo: You are able to take a photo of a logo and find out more facts about that particular company. Anything that is on the web about that logo is available, in the palm of your hand without typing. As a Google Goggles user you can even take a snapshot of a product's bar code and find what store sold it, for how much, and if they still have it in stock. This could come in handy when you pull up to a stop sign and see some contracting company that you would like to call. Take your quick snapshot photo and all of the company's contact information would be uploaded into your contacts.

In the near future you may even see some radical search options: (My predictions)
Eventually a user could possibly upload an image of a friend or co-worker and do do a background check on them.What if a person could upload a picture of their neighbors into Google and find out that they are wanted in another state; wouldn't that be something to consider? Google aspires to eventually use Google Goggles to suggest a move in a chess game! The developers even suggest that in the future you would be able to take a picture of a leaf and identify the tree that it came from and where to find it.

Watch this great video to find out more about Google Goggles to see if this free product is for you. You can also visit the actual website via this link, Google Goggles - Use pictures to search the web. 

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