Seeing the world through Google Goggles


Have you tried Google Goggles yet? It’s a picture-based way of searching for information with a smartphone. Point your mobile at a building and if a recognition scan matches what’s in its database it’ll instantly provide you with supplementary information.

When I took a snap of a book cover that showed a building, Goggles was instantly able to tell me it was the Metropolis in Madrid, offered me a map, a Wikipedia entry, links to Flickr pictures, and travel sites.

Last night I was playing with an app called Hope Poster (after the Obama screenprint-style image) using a painting of actress Katharine Hepburn.

The original is in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC along with some of her Oscars.

Using Goggles on this image instantly revealed the name of the artist – Everett Raymond Kinstler – links to his wider work, collections at the gallery and more.

It’s not perfect. Results can be very hit and miss. Aim your lens at a tree and Goggles can’t tell you whether it’s an oak or an elm.

Not yet, anyway.

But it’s fun to try and it gets smarter every day.


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