What Are Google Goggles?

As a young boy growing up, I found myself fascinated with comic books. I really wasn’t into the story so much but instead the wonderful full page ads on the inside, selling merchandise such as hand shake shockers, sea monkeys, Whoopee cushions, and itching powder. These items were all nice but none of them could hold a never ending candle to the ultimate prize – the X-ray glasses. What’s better for a hormone ravaged kid than the supposed opportunity to see undergarments at the beach? Now that I’m older, (and X-ray technology is readily available at any airport waiting line) the coolest thing I use is Google Goggles, which has none of the voyeuristic capabilities I had hoped for.

Google Goggles don’t give you the ability to see what kind of undergarments the ladies in the airport lobby have, instead it’s a sophisticated image recognition program (not a facial recognition program). Google Goggles is an app used on smart phones that lets the user take a picture and send it to an information database. Google will then do a search and return any relevant details about the object.

Some things that can be snapped and inquired about include text, landmarks, books, art, wine, company logos, foreign words and more expanding rapidly. If a person was tasting a particular brand of wine that caught their fancy, they could snap a picture of the logo and be inundated with information about the company, where it was produced, ingredients, nutritional information and more. Likewise taking pictures of different landmarks returns all the pertinent information about the structure.

google goggles

The future of Google Goggles is virtually unlimited. Hikers and nature enthusiasts could someday have the capability of taking a picture of plants and leaves and scanning them to return information about the type of species as well as if a certain green is poisonous or not. Some day we might even have the technology to snap an image of a star as we’re hurling through space and have the data uploaded to our brain within seconds. Either way, it’s sure we’ve come a long way since our last greatest technological breakthrough – the whoopee cushion.


  1. says

    Google Goggles is an incredible application, especially for travelers abroad. You can get info about any interesting object in a matter of seconds. And the bar recognition feature is very useful for all kind of shopaholics – they can get thee full info in no-time. Thanks for sharing and looking forward for more apps’ and gadgets’ reviews!

  2. says

    I think goggles needs a lot more focus with development. I’ve used this all around Italy to help translate menus, tickets, etc. I wish it could identify plants, as I like to do macro photography and I dying always know what it is I’m photographing. No concerns about pictures uploading, its implied that the pictures you take need to be uploaded for analysis and to make the recognition algorithm better. This is how voice made voice search and Google now work as well as they do.