Mobile searching has just become way, way cooler
- Free, incredibly cool
- Doesn't work well with some categories of object at the moment
Right now, Google Goggles doesn't work well with food, cars, plants, or animals. But that's going to change. Developers say the app will soon be able to recognise plants by their leaves, even suggest chess moves by "seeing" an image of your current board. "We are only scratching the surface of the visual search technology," Google's engineers promise.
Google Goggles: art
We had a book of Magritte paintings in the office. We flipped open to a random page and took a photo. Google Goggles got it.
The Google gang says the app can detect and detail wine, so we figured it was worth a shot. This one took a couple of tries - the first bottle we attempted didn't work - but Google Goggles was able to pull up details about the second label we shot.
Text does the trick, too, whether you're looking at a business card or just words on a page. We tried capturing your author's name off of a recent invoice. Goggles brought up a list of web search results for me, along with contact info and the option to add myself into my phone's directory.
Google Goggles: landmarks and Places
Major landmarks are well within Goggles' sights. We didn't have one nearby, so we photographed a photo of the Eiffel Tower, and sat back to see what'd happen. Google Goggles figured it out and linked us to the landmark information.
Google Goggles uses data from the phone's GPS and compass to deliver live augmented-reality results as well. You just point your phone at any location - a business, for example - and the app places a button with the business name at the bottom of your screen. Tap the button, and Goggles loads info about the business from a web search. No snapshot is needed.
Even just pointing the phone in a general direction will cause AR results to display. Looking out of our office window through the phone, we saw a button that said "20" at the bottom of the screen. When we tapped it, a list of nearby businesses popped up, each with a clickable link containing contact details, reviews, and other information.
Right now, Google Goggles doesn't work well with food, cars, plants, or animals. But that's going to change. Developers say the app will soon be able to recognise plants by their leaves, even suggest chess moves by "seeing" an image of your current board. "We are only scratching the surface of the visual search technology," Google's engineers promise. If you're worried about privacy, Google Goggles gives you two options. You can discard all of your images as you go, or you can save them in a searchable history. Selecting the searchable history option makes the images available to Google, separate from any personal data, for the purpose of improving the service. Aside from that, Google indicates, the Goggles app retains your IP address and Google account details for five weeks in order to help "keep the service stable and secure". The Google Goggles app is now available as a free download in the Android Market. You can see more of its features in action via Google's official Goggles video. There's also a help section set up on Google's mobile support site.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Stream 11 laptop
- 2 Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111)
- 3 Asus Zenbook UX303LN Ultrabook
- 4 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 5 Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro hybrid Ultrabook
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft files suit against alleged tech support scammers
- Casio's latest Exilim high-speed camera can sync with up to seven others
- Critical vulnerability in Git clients puts developers at risk
- Hands-on with Sony's latest smartglasses
- Think North Korea hacked Sony? Think about this
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.