I was aware there was a image search on the iPhone, last night I found the Android equivalent – Google Goggles (I may well be well out of date – remember I’ve only had a smart phone for a month!). 

The concept is simple.  Take a picture with your smart phone, and it will ‘Google’ the image.  That’s right ‘Google’ an image.

Point it at a DVD box, and you get the links to iMBD and Amazon.
Point it at a book cover, and you get reviews, and links to Amazon (unsurprisingly)
Point it at a work of art, and get links to Wiki, and histories of the painter and work.
Point it at a foriegn language and get a translation.
Not had a chance to try this, but apparently photo a landmark, and find out what it is!

I’ve spent the day photographing odd things, and its been quite successful – I’ve found out one of the pictures on my bedroom wall is a print of a famous painting of Romeo and Juliet.

For what it is its been quite successful.  I’d say a hit rate of 75%.  The failures tend to be the way the picture is taken – a camera has little way to distinguish depth of field, so reflections on the glass over pictures tend to confuse it. It swipes the photo in a most pleasing Sci Fi way, and marks up points (a la a CSI finger print scan) , as well as carries out Optical Character Recognition.  It took a couple of tries to get it oto recognise a short French sentence; however it was something I typed into word, so it had the graininess of the display to contend with, plus on the first attempt I had it to close, so it lopped off part of the first line, though what it did get it recognised as French.  Worked fine the 2nd attempt.  Hand shake bluring the image can be a big problem, as is moving the phone too early, not realising how long it takes to capture the image it needs.

It recognised not just the words ‘Warhammer 40,000″ on my son’s codex, but the fact that it was the logo, so found said codex.

It even managed to recognise the cover of my Black Powder rule book, and linked me to relevant hits, given the complexity of the cover I was pleasantly surprised.


You can get some odd results – I took a picture of the car across the road, and it picked up the brand badge on the hubcap, and gave me a link to vans by that manufacturer.  I also took a picture of a 12″ model Cyberman (from Doctor Who), but it said it could find no matches.  It offered instead a number of choices, one of which was a picture of some breasts.  It was an ARTY picture, but still a picture of a pair of tits!

Despite its sometime oddities, its definately worth having on your phone.

These tests run on a HTC Wildfire, Android 2.1, 5mp camera.