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MrMario
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Google's first search engine let people search by typing text onto a Web page. Next came queries spoken over the phone. On Monday, Google announced the ability to perform an Internet search by submitting a photograph.

The experimental search-by-sight feature, called Google Goggles, has a database of billions of images that informs its analysis of what's been uploaded, said Vic Gundotra, Google's vice president of engineering. It can recognize books, album covers, artwork, landmarks, places, logos, and more.

"It is our goal to be able to identify any image," he said. "It represents our earliest efforts in the field of computer vision. You can take a picture of an item, use that picture of whatever you take as the query."

However, the feature is still in Google Labs to deal with the "nascent nature of computer vision" and with the service's present shortcomings. "Google Goggles works well on certain types of objects in certain categories," he said.

Google Goggles was one of the big announcements at an event at the Computer History Museum here to tout the future of Google search. The company also showed off real-time search results and translation of a spoken phrase from English to Spanish using a mobile phone.

"It could be we are really at the cusp of an entirely new computing era," Gundotra said, with "devices that can understand our own speech, help us understand others, and augment our own sight by helping us see further."

Offering one real-world example of the service in action, Gundotra said that when a guest came by for dinner, he snapped a photo of a wine bottle she gave him to assess its merits. The result--"hints of apricot and hibiscus blossom"--went far beyond his expertise, but that didn't stop him from sharing the opinion over dinner.

He also demonstrated Google Goggles to take a photo of the Itsukushima Shrine in Japan, a landmark tourists may recognize even if they can't read Japanese. The uploaded photo returned a description of the shrine on his mobile phone.





Vic Gundotra, Google's vice president of engineering, takes a photo of the Itsukushima Shrine in Japan. The Google Goggles feature successfully identified it.
(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET)

Although the service can recognize faces, since faces are among the billions of images in the database, it doesn't right now, Gundotra said.

"For this product, we made the decision not to do facial recognition," Gundotra said. "We still want to work on the issues of user opt-in and control. We have the technology to do the underlying face recognition, but we decided to delay that until safeguards are in place."



Last edited by MrMario on Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:37 pm; edited 1 time in total




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Post on Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:08 am by Jason

Wow!! I rather like this tour guides could be out of business. Don’t forget that a possible product comparison app using this search engine is just a step way for any item you can take a photo of and for the mobile generation its dam cool. Cool

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Post on Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:29 am by MrMario

Man Google is on a roll right now. Keep it up guys Smile I can see it now Bing is going to do the same thing. I can't really use this since I don't have online access on my phone so I am out of the loop Sad

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Post on Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:09 am by Jason

Yes this will be the next big thing in search especially for the mobile market not sure how Google keep doing it but they do!

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Post on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:10 am by MrMario

Found a really nice video of how this is going to work.

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Post on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:22 am by Jason

Good find with the video Mario love how Google makes its videos all cartoon type.

Google already got the product comparison I said would be ace! It looks like the compatibility is already there with other features like scanning a business card then saving the contact to your contacts. Love were this tech is going and its only going to get better.

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Post on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:24 am by Jalokim

oh that is a cool video...
awesome stuff

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Post on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:29 am by MrMario

Jason wrote:Good find with the video Mario love how Google makes its videos all cartoon type.

Google already got the product comparison I said would be ace! It looks like the compatibility is already there with other features like scanning a business card then saving the contact to your contacts. Love were this tech is going and its only going to get better.

It was some random suggestion on YouTube so I had to check it out and remembered that I posted a topic about it. It's amazing how technology is growing every day. It feels like yesterday when phones started to be touchable. Glad that Google is the first to have it before Microsoft or even Apple. I wouldn't be surprised to see Google take over Microsoft and will make everything better and listen to the users not themselves. Maybe in the next 5 years or less. You will never know.

Jalokim wrote:oh that is a cool video...
awesome stuff

HAHA yes it is.
Thanks Smile

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Post on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:36 am by Jason

I don’t want Google to get too big everyone needs competition to drive progress forward using Microsoft’s IE as an example market dominance doesn’t dictate continued performance. Goggles continued growth could pose a much greater threat towards innovation than Microsoft ever did.

That aside Google are doing some great things currently what’s next the Google flying car. Evil Grin

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