Searching made easy and fun with Google Goggles app for Android

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Are you aware of the Augmented Reality glasses that Google launched a couple of years back? They may not be stylish in the normal sense of the term, but they are certainly ‘geeky’, yet cool. The thing with these glasses is once you wear them, you can literally scan anything by just looking at them. And then the scanned picture which is processed by the software inside the glasses is matched against the contents of Google’s database, and the result is produced “in front of your eyes". One really feels like Tom Cruise of the Mission Impossible movies!

The icon of Google Goggles

The icon of Google Goggles

The Google Goggles app is much like the Android app version of these Augmented Reality glasses. Instead of normally typing in what you want to find out about, you take a picture of that object through this app. The rest of the job is done by this Augmented Reality app itself. It has added just another dimension to the Search options Google provide us with. Earlier it was the type-in search, and then came the Voice Search. Now, it’s time for the other two to make-way for the Visual Search, a little if not completely! Searching just got way cooler, thanks to Google!

The welcome screen of the app

The welcome screen of the app

Once you get started with this app, the first screen you encounter after the welcome pages is the camera. The camera gets activated and you can click a picture of anything about which you want to know. Once the picture is taken, you can crop out the part you don’t want Google to scan. And then the Analyzing starts. Now, the time taken for the app to analyze and produce results for your picture depends on your network connection. A 3G connection, in the least is required to ensure smooth operation. You may work with a slower internet, but it just takes such a lot of time that one may easily run out of patience waiting for the results to appear.


Clicking the picture, analyzing it and producing the result

Clicking the picture, analyzing it and producing the result

In the camera screen itself, you get several options. If your device comes with a flash, you can turn it on or off. You can select any already-clicked image file from your device’s gallery. You can modify the settings for the Goggles camera and you can also view the version information and other such details the app provides you with. The accuracy of the Search depends on the camera. The picture you click needs to be recognizable, rather readable by the software so that it can pick up what to search for. I clicked a picture of my TV remote in low light and all it scanned out of that picture is the buttons (round-shaped) and misread them as several rows of 0s. So, that’s what I mean when I say the light needs to be good enough. Otherwise, just switch on your flash if there’s no other way to increase the surrounding light.

It was fun. Goggles can not only read texts or analyze pictures of objects. It also has the ability to scan barcodes and display product information from them. Click a picture of any famous landmark, and Goggles will let you know all that it knows about the place. Looking at a painting and don’t know what it’s about? You have Goggles to help you out. All this, provided the searched article exists in Google’s database.

The in-camera options

The in-camera options

I found the app extremely exciting. Yes, it certainly has its disadvantages. Sometimes the analyzing goes horribly wrong. At other times, it really manages to hit the bull’s eye! Want to find out for yourself? Follow the download button provided below.

download from google play

Let us know how you felt after using your ‘Goggles’. Was it exciting? Feel free to keep us posted with your opinions and comments.

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Review Overview
  • Features9
  • Effectiveness7
  • Navigation9
  • Design8
Total Score8.3

Brilliantly conceptualized but results are not always accurate, all in all - a very good app

Abhirup is our guest blogger on education apps and thought partner. He harbors certain thoroughly misguided self-impressions like he has a refined aesthetic sense (our website’s visuals are NOT inspired by his ideas) or that he has a deep baritone. However, we choose to ignore these as he sometimes comes up with good ideas notwithstanding the fact that they are articulated in confusing managerial jargon; perhaps explained by the fact that he is an MBA from IIM Bangalore.

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