Posts tagged ‘marketing’
Some of the products that come out of Google Labs are so cool that it’s a little scary. Google Goggles is a perfect example. The app, which is available for Android and iPhone, lets you search the web using photos taken with your mobile device. This means you can take a picture of a landmark, book, logo or artwork using the app and Google will identify it and return search results for that object. It also translates text into English and scans business cards to easily add contact info to your address book.
Goggles is awesome in theory and still pretty cool in practice. When I tested it out on my HTC Droid Incredible, I had difficulty getting the app to recognize a business card, but it had no problem recognizing a book cover or barcode. So even though it’s not flawless, when it does work, the novelty of visual search definitely delivers serious wow-factor.
Google launched a new version last month enabling faster QR and barcode scanning and two cool new tricks. The first is the ability to recognize print ads in popular magazines and newspapers, and return web search results about the product or brand. This has some interesting possibilities for print advertisers to Goggles-enable their ads, as explored in November with the Google Goggles marketing experiment. But while this is all very practical, the second new trick is my favorite: it solves Sudoku puzzles. According to Google, “if you ever get stuck, take a clear picture of the entire puzzle with Goggles and we’ll tell you the correct solution.”
As you’d expect from Google, they’ve created this nifty Sudoku demo video:
ReadWriteWeb seems skeptical that this is more than just a “fun parlor trick type app (at least for now).” I have to agree, but with emphasis on the for now. I can imagine plenty of situations where this would be useful, but it will only be truly useful when it becomes more reliable (and when mobile device camera quality improves). I’m sure when Google Labs works out the bugs, they’ll turn their attention to solving the second hurdle: making visual search top-of-mind for Android and iPhone users. And who else but Google could lead this movement?
What do you think? Have you used Goggles? Did you have different results on another device?
Now I challenge you to say Google Goggles five times fast.