Google Goggles to Become App Platform


So far Google Goggles has been little more than a novelty app with software that hasn’t quite caught up to its full potential. With the announcement that Google purchased visual search startup Plink, we got the impression that they were looking to expand the Goggles brand. Now comes word that Google plans to turn the app into a full-blown API set that will allow developers to create better augmented reality and visual search based applications for mobile devices.

In a conversation with TechRadar, Google product manager Shailesh Nalawadi revealed that while the plans for an open Goggles API are indeed moving forward, they are still searching for ideas from developers for the best way to implement it. He does however assure that “Goggles is not just an app – it’s a platform.” Check out Shailesh in the below video.

There are still a few wrinkles to iron out in effectively creating useful augmented reality apps based on visual search, such as increasing the accuracy of a devices location awareness, but this is a great step towards getting the full potential out of the Goggles concept.

When Goggles was first released for Android I was quite taken with it, however there are some glaring flaws that make it of little use on an every day basis. With improvements in both the search database and search accuracy/technology visual search could very well see a big boom. It’s conducive to the mobile environment where spontaneous searches are easier to conduct via snapping an image rather than finding the right words to create a standard search query.

[via IntoMobile]

Kevin Krause
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  1. Awesome. See? That’s better than ANYTHING Apple has come up with. It’s actually useful. Not just some toy.

  2. Well you do know that Steve Jobs is releasing “iGoggles” in OS 4.5 and he mentioned that he was going to do it “right”.

    /end sarcasm

  3. I’d like to ask Google to return Goggles results in a Flash .swf format. I’m so over the Apple jerks!

  4. Isn’t that sort of what Layers is already doing? Or can you not develop for Layers?

  5. does this mean more crapware preinstalled on phones? Because that is what it sounds like to me.

  6. I hope this means that other apps can call Goggles’ services. E.g. if your app has an image (even a live image, without pressing the shutter-button?), it can call the api (Intents) to obtain info about it. It’s no longer private for just Goggles. That would be kewl. Then you could use existing images on your phone for searching.

  7. I saw this in 1984 when I watched the movie Terminator. The T-800 could do this.

  8. I really hope Google learned their lessons on privacy with Buzz. Developing facial recognition into Goggles, I think, would prove to a massive loss of trust with the users. I know i would be pissed if they did that.

    I know eventually someones going to release that software, i just hope its not a major corporation that makes it available to a tonne of people all at once.

  9. @ Mur: And this is just one more piece of the Google/Skynet puzzle.

  10. @Chris Touché! :o)

  11. ….huh..well the scanning someones face thing I don’t think is a bad idea. I mean for those who have porn accounts I don’t think you have a pic if yourselves on that….so the paranoia about this app I think is to high for some.

  12. Is this available for 1.5? Or is this yet another example of something “available for Android” which really means 2.x?

  13. nice, Apple has Steve Jobs’ Fart-app and Google these useful apps :D

  14. This need to be a real time AJAX supported API if its made it needs to be a web service platform for not just phones but servers to connect to as well so people can script their own apps to use web servers to tie in as well.

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