Google has just updated their Goggles application for Android with some speed enhancements as well as some cool new features, like newspaper, magazine ad recognition, and even Sudoku puzzle solving.
Version 1.3 of Goggles for Android allows for faster barcode scanning of products. Similar to the basic Barcode scanner for Android, all one needs to do is hover their camera over a barcode, and once it’s recognized, the phone will vibrate and show product information, including where to get it online or if it’s cheaper five blocks away at another store. You also have easy access to product reviews and user ratings. In some ways the update seems to be overlapping on Google’s existing Shopper application, but having the same functionality within one app isn’t something we’ll be complaining about anytime soon.
In addition to the barcode enhancements, Goggles can now recognize popular magazine and newspaper ads. By taking a picture of a printed ad, you’ll be given relevant product information for the product. However, it won’t be working on your older magazines, as the feature currently works only for popular US newspapers and magazines from August 2010 onwards. So if you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, reading through a magazine, you don’t have to be that person who rips the page out of the publication. Goggle has your back.
The most interesting feature by far is the new Sudoku feature that Goggles brings to the table, and is available for the Android and iPhone. The feature allows you to take a picture of a Sudoku puzzle, and after scanning it, the numbers will begin to populate. This feature is very interesting, but may be useless to some. I think it would be cool if you could scan the puzzle, and have the option of selecting the space you’d like to have solved instead of the entire puzzle. That would take much more back-end development to accomplish, if it’s even possible. Nonetheless, the feature looks to work perfectly, and rather fast at that.
Just add these features to all of the awesome capabilities of Goggles and you have yourself one powerful app in your hands.
Check out the video below to see the Sudoku feature in action!