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google goggles

Earlier this fall Google upgraded their Google Mobile App for the iPhone to include Google Goggles (try saying that ten times fast), a feature that was previously only available to Android users. In a nutshell, Google Goggles allows you to perform Google searches using images taken with your iPhone’s camera. Once you’ve installed the free Google Mobile App, Goggling (I’m not sure if that’s the official term) is as simple as tapping the camera icon to the right of the search bar and snapping a photo of the item in question.

Before you go too camera happy, it’s important to note that only certain types of items are likely to work with Google Goggles. The software is designed to recognize covers of books, DVDs and CDs as well as barcodes and logos. Goggles will also recognize some buildings and landmarks and will do it’s best to pull text from photos and to identify objects.

There’s no denying that Google Goggles looks impressive in a demo, but how well does it work in the real world? I put Google Goggles to the test, with some help from friends in Ottawa, London and Melbourne. The question du jour: is Goggles truly useful or a novelty that soon grows old?

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