Until Google releases a desktop version of Google Goggles, you can see your previous visual queries at http://www.google.com/goggles/history even when you don’t have your phone with you. Click on one of the images and you’ll see the results, similar images and links to related web pages.
It’s surprising to see that this service is not yet integrated with Google Web History and it’s not part of Google Image Search.
Google tests a way to monetize Goggles, the mobile application for visual search. “A year ago, Google introduced a smartphone application that lets users take photos of objects and get search results in return. The company will take that capability into the world of marketing with an experiment allowing five [US] brands to use the application in their promotional materials”. Here are the five brands that are part of the experiment: Buick, Delta, Diageo, Disney and T-Mobile.
Android and iPhone users in the US will be able to scan the magazine ads for Buick Regal, T-Mobile G2 and the movie posters for Disney’s “Tron: Legacy” to find more information from the official sites.
Michael Slinger, Google’s head of mobile search advertising sales in North America, says that “it’s a learning experiment for us more than an opportunity to make money,” but it could be another reason to use Google Goggles.
Google Goggles 1.1 for Android added another feature that makes visual search more useful: translating text. For now, the application detects text in the following languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and is able to translate the text to all the languages supported by Google Translate.
“Traveling to another country can be an amazing experience. The opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture can give you a new perspective. However, it can be hard to fully enjoy the experience if you do not understand the local language. For example, ordering food from a menu you can not read can be an adventure,” explains Google’s mobile blog.
Google says that it’s a good idea to point your phone at the phrase you want to translate and select the region that includes the text to improve detection.
I tested the feature by trying to translate phrases from a French magazine (Science & Vie Junior), but the results weren’t great all the time. Here’s one of the best results:
(screenshots taken using ShootMe on a Nexus One)
To install Google Goggles, you need a phone that runs Android 1.6+. Search for Goggles in the Android Market or open the barcode scanner and scan this QR code.