Google Goggles, the neat image recognition and search application for Android, has been updated to version 1.4 with a couple of new features. The big addition is notes that you can add to your search history. This means when you take a picture of something to scan, you can add any additional context you might see fit, and think your friends might find helpful when you send them search queries. In order to improve the results returned when taking a picture of stuff around you, Google Goggles now has the option for you to crop out your interested subject matter, and add a description so they can serve up better results next time it comes up. Those who have been trying out the business card recognition will appreciate that it now puts pertinent information into individual contact fields, making for easy address book importing.
Google Goggles has been around for over a year now, and is doing some pretty awesome things, including translating text from one language to another. At its core, Goggles provides tailored search results depending on the type of subject matter you’re shooting with your smartphone’s camera. If it’s a movie poster, you’ll get a link to a trailer, and maybe some reviews. If it’s a landmark, you’ll likely get a Wikipedia article. If it’s a CD, you’ll get links to buy MP3 tracks on Amazon, and so on. There’s also the obvious image scanning like QR and bar codes that are included in Goggles.
I’m a huge fan of Goggles, and glad to see third parties like Word Lens are taking things even further into specialized niches. I’m curious if Google will actually get into facial recognition; it seems like an obvious next step, but won’t do them many favours for their image of being an all-knowing Big Brother.
To download the latest version of Google Goggles, check out the Android Market.