Google Goggles Uses Visual Objects as Search Terms

Google Goggles is a new application, currently for phones running the Android operating system. It appears to be a quantum leap in searching the net. No longer will one have to point and click on a phrase. One just takes a picture with the phone.
Instead of typing or speaking the search term, one points the phone’s camera at an object and takes a picture. Google Goggles will then display information about the object.

For instance, one can point the phone at a book and take a picture. Google Goggles will display information about what the book is about, including a price comparison at stores and online shopping sites such as Amazon.

Pointing the phone with Google Goggles at a landmark, say, the Statue of Liberty will return web sites about the Statue of Liberty, including its official site and its Wikipida article.

One can scan a business card with a phone using Goggle Goggles and input the person’s phone number and email address into the address book. Another saving for fingers.

If one wants to know what a place, say a store or a restaurant is, one only has to point and the name of what one is pointing at will display.

Google Goggles is fairly limited in which images it can use to search the web with. These include landmarks, books, contact info, art (such as a painting), places, wine, and a business logo such as the Coca Cola logo on a can of coke. But apparently Google engineers intend to add the sort of things that Google Goggles can use to search the web with. A leaf, for instance, could be used to identify a plant; a boon to botanists, hikers, and hunters.

Of course taking the idea of Google Goggles to its ultimate implications, one can foresee a day when a phone employing a version of Google Goggles could be used to identify people, using face recognition technology. This could be a useful for police officers, looking for criminals and missing persons. On the flip side, it could also be useful for stalkers and other people meaning to do someone harm.

A license plate number could be scanned and one can instantly find out who owns the car, whether it was stolen or used in a crime, and when the last time it was serviced. Another boon for police officers as well as insurance scammers.

Still, for someone who still remembers personal computers when they did not come with a mouse, back before the Flood, the idea of an application that uses the object itself as a search item is remarkable indeed.

Source: Google Goggles Official Site