Text based search is the most prominent search available on the Internet these days. Most search engines, with the exception of a few specialized ones, require text input before they return results to you based on the query you have just entered.
While voice search has risen somewhat in prominence in recent time thanks to the rise of technologies that allow this, text search is still the dominant method of running searches.
Google Goggles is a new application for the Android operating system that enables you to perform searches by submitting photos or images. That's an interesting concept in a handful of situations. Say you are a tourist and want to know more about a building that you spotted. Maybe you even know the name of the building but not in your own language, or you want to know more about the history of a landmark.
Other applications of Google Goggles include identifying artwork, looking up items like books or wine, and scanning contact information on business cards to find out more about the contact.
The second use of Goggles beside identifying items and objects is the ability to perform a search without having to type the search phrase into a search engine.
Instead of typing the title of the book that you are interested in, you simply take a picture and let Google Goggles do the rest for you. Obviously, this works only if you can take a picture or already have a photo on your phone depicting the item you want to know more about. Also, it only works if the app identifies your intention correctly.
So, if you cannot take a photo of the search term or if Google Google's app gets it wrong, then Google Goggles can't do anything for you.
Google has created a video that demonstrates Google Goggles:
The latest version of Google Goggles requires Android 2.1 or higher to run. You can use the app to search for places and objects to identify them using the phone. Google Goggles can identify the following objects and places:
The process itself is always the same. Start the Goggles application on your phone and use the "take photo" feature to run a search for it.
You will see a list of results after a short moment of searching that may reveal to you additional information about the place or object you are looking at.
Update: The most recent version of Google Goggles support additional things that it can recognize. This includes any form of QR code or barcode. It can also solve Sudoku puzzles for you, scan text using optical character recognition, or translate foreign text.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.