On the seventh day, the Lords of Google looked down upon their work, and they saw that it was good – but it involved a bit too much typing. So rather than resting, they decided to work out how they could search the internet using pictures. The result: Google Goggles.
If you’re geeky enough to know anything about augmented reality… well, forget it. Because Google has much bigger ambitions than overlaying the nearest tube station on your phone’s video feed. The new Google Goggles (version 1.3) allows you to interrogate a terrifying variety of objects and images. And it doesn’t just search for lookylikies – it’ll scan printed words into editable text, translate foreign signs and even solve Suduko puzzles.
In short: this app is way smarter than a puny human.
While early versions of Goggles felt gimmicky and produced unreliable results, version 1.3 is a quantum leap into a science-fiction future where every object has a story to tell.
As before, you can scan the covers of CDs, films and books to find out more about them online. You can take photos of products, logos and adverts, and get remarkably accurate results.
You can use Goggles to scan the barcodes that appear on Life of Android when you hit the ‘download’ button – it’ll take you directly to the Android market.
And now you can even scan the words inside a book and Goggles will convert it to editable text. You can scan business cards in the same way and suck that information into your phone’s address book. Or even scan foreign text and translate it into passable English. It really is magical.
Google advises that Goggles proably won’t work on furniture, apparel or animals – for now, at least. But if you want to really show how smart your phone is, you can now use Goggles to complete your suduko puzzles. Yes, it takes away what little fun there was in using you brain, but it’s still an incredibly neat party trick.
But Goggles is more than a gimmick – it’s a truly revolutionary app that makes searching as simple as taking a picture, unlocking a world of knowledge and letting every object and image tell its story.
In doing so, Goggles will, over time, completely change the way we relate not just to our phones – but to the world around us. Don’t hesitate to download.
The bottom line
Takes abstract web searches into the real world – and adds some serious wow-factor, too.
Version tested: 1.3 (for all Android versions, supports App2SD)