Monday, December 07, 2009

Google Goggles, Mobile Visual Search

Google revealed some details about an upcoming mobile application that lets you upload photos and returns relevant information.

Google is working on Google Visual Search, a mobile application that lets users take a picture of a location from their Android-powered smartphone and trigger a Google search that pulls up information associated with the image.

"Imagine you're a tourist and you arrive at this place and you would like to know more about it, all you will have to do is take a shot of the [Santa Monica pier] sign and you see we recognized this as the Santa Monica pier," [Google Product Manager Hartmut] Neven said.

However, the technology, known internally as Google Goggles, didn't pass muster when Google tested it with a focus group in August. The company's engineers are working out the bugs and building out the immense database required to propel the technology.

Neven Vision, a company acquired by Google in 2006, had several patents on mobile visual search and object recognition, including a patent for an "image-based search engine for mobile phones with camera".