Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Google Goggles Makes Your Phone's Camera Smarter

Google Goggles is an request that's sometimes useful, but it's not good enough to use it every time you want to find something about an object. The Android app has a new characteristic that integrates it with the Camera app, uploads all the photos you're taking to Google's servers and shows notifications in the status bar if Goggles found something useful. It may sound spooky, but it makes your phone's camera smarter.

"With this new opt-in feature in Goggles, you can just photograph an image using your phone's camera, and Goggles will work in the background to examine your image. If your photo contains items that Goggles can distinguish, the app will notify you," explains Google. The feature is disabled by default, but you can facilitate it from the settings page by choosing "Search from Camera".

It's almost certainly a good idea to only enable this option when you're on vacation or when you're planning to photograph barcodes for products you want to buy. It's also helpful if you're in a bookstore and you want to "bookmark" some books.

Google Mobile's help center informs that "each Goggles query consumes about 100 KB of data" and you can limit the amount of data that's inspired by selecting "Search on WiFi networks only" under "Mobile Connection".

"Search from Camera" is one of the features that won't be obtainable in the Google app for iPhone because iOS' background APIs aren't that powerful. If you have an Android device, install Google Goggles 1.6 from the Android Market.

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