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Google Goggles Has Appetite For Language Recognition, Translation

Google Goggles, despite being a new and unpolished product with a limited application, is an awesome concept that will almost undoubtedly grow some legs in the near future. At MWC 2010 a Google Engineer shows one way that – RIGHT NOW – Google Goggles can make an impact with language/character recognition combined with translation of over 100 languages. Take a look at this video where they snap a picture of a German Restaurant menu and it converts/translates the text to English:

“I would assume that many of you… would not be able to… know what to eat tonight. But if you have the new Goggles translation – what you can do you can zoom in… take a picture… place it there… so the:” It works and everyone applauds.

What happens when Google Goggles starts letting you take a picture of someone’s face and it instantly knows who they are and tells you? That would face a TON of privacy criticism but it’s an awesome idea, and one that would face SO many hurdles in being created that I don’t think it’s worth worrying about.




  • greatcasa

    Since no one has commented yet, Rob in the title it says “Googles” not “Goggles.” Feel free to erase my comment if you fix it.

  • Maj

    This is interesting but in real life, you would want to translate a whole page and not just a few words that can fit perfectly in a smartphone screen

  • JP

    Not too bad, except that Google Goggles has essentially taken a bunch of IP from other companies which pioneered image recognition for just about everything that Google Goggles does, there is nothing original here at all, companies introduced these services in Japan and parts of Europe many years ago, but the slow adoption was more a result of barriers from the usual carriers. Google is just ignoring all of the patents these companies filed, and using its muscle to get away with doing evil.

  • heyguyswhatisgoingon

    @Maj: baby steps, man.

    @JP: we all know google does this, but you pretend that they’re evil when the vast majority of what they do is buy out awesome ideas and integrate the people who had those ideas into their company. they’re not merely stealing these ideas. they release the vast majority of their programs and services for free online anyway, how is that evil?

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  • Maramara

    pshaw. I think you still need humans to speak languages. Otherwise you kind of wonder what the point is. You could try learning yourself using technology… Babbel for example, is a good place to start.