Google Goggles Updated, Could Even Solve Sudoku Puzzles

googleThe world’s largest online search engine, Google, has updated its popular Google Goggles mobile search application, making it a whole lot smarter.

Google Goggles works by utilizing the camera in your smartphone to retrieve useful information in search results, essentially, you could snap pictures of objects, text, photos, people, landmarks, among other things, and the app then retrieves search results after scanning the photo.

In late August 2010, Google said it would release future updates that would make the app more effective with more relevant search results.

Since that announcement, today marks the biggest update the app has received.

ferrari-google-goggles

Photo picture search of a Ferrari model car in Google Goggles for iPhone

The latest Google Goggles version 1.3, available now in the Google Android Marketplace and the Apple iOS App Store, largely brings under-the-hood enhancements to take advantaged of improved algorithms that significantly increase the accuracy of the app when scanning things like a product barcode.

The company also improved the apps ability to better recognize content and other elements in magazines, including text, titles, people, and major corporate brands on magazine covers.

Google says the improved search results related to magazines work best for magazines published after August 2010.

One of the most impressive additions to the app is its ability to solve Sudoku game puzzles, by simply snapping a picture of the puzzle board; the app is able to analyze and easily and intelligently solve the missing numbers.

Although Google Goggles has been available in beta form for Android devices for about a year, the app only made its way onto Apple products late in the summer of 2010 after Google had difficulties in getting the app approved into Apple’s App Store.

In our testing, the application worked very quickly, but not very consistently in analyzing busier pictures.

For example, when a picture was snapped of a Ferrari model car, the app easily recognized the fact that it was indeed a model car, and even the type, but it also had difficulty recognizing popular brands on the car itself, but it was still fairly successful when closer range photos were snapped. Bar codes of popular products like Kellogg Corn Flakes worked seamlessly.


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Tahir holds a Bachelor Commerce Finance degree from Ryerson University in Toronto. He is planning to purse an MBA in Finance. Write to tahir@business2press.com
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  • Bruins

    Loaded it on my iPhone 4.

    Tried taking a pic of my Mitel 5010 IP Phone. The app showed me a bunch of cars and told me to pick an associated picture.

    Took a pic of my Thermos. The app showed me a bunch of cars and told me to pick an associated picture.

    Took a pic of my Saitek Cyborg keyboard. The app showed me a bunch of cars and told me to pick an associated picture.

    Took a pic of my wireless mouse. The app showed me a bunch of cars and told me to pick an associated picture.

    Guess Goggles is telling me to take pics in the parking lot if I want to impress anybody…

  • Chris

    Why is one of the most impressive features the ability to solve sudoku puzzles? I’ve had an iphone app for well over 6 months that has been doing exactly that (Sudoku Magic Lite for anyone who wants it). Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but I’d hardly say it was breaking news, or is it just ‘cos Google did it that now it’s the next best thing ;)

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