Android lovers have a good new. Now they can Translate the real world with Google Goggles where they can use pictures to search the web. Traveling to another country can be an amazing experience. The opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture can give you a new perspective. However, it can be hard to fully enjoy the experience if you do not understand the local language. For example, ordering food from a menu you can not read can be an adventure. A new feature of Google Goggles will prove useful to travelers everywhere: Goggles translation where users can capture an image and use visual search technology to know more information about the picture taken.
Here’s how it works:
- Point your phone at a word or phrase. Use the region of interest button to draw a box around specific words
- Press the shutter button
- If Goggles recognizes the text, it will give you the option to translate
- Press the translate button to select the source and destination languages.
As per Google Mobile Blog :
The first Goggles translation prototype was unveiled earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and could only recognize German text. Today Goggles can read English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and can translate to many more languages. We are hard at work extending our recognition capabilities to other Latin-based languages. Our goal is to eventually read non-Latin languages (such as Chinese, Hindi and Arabic) as well. Every new release of Google Goggles contains at least one new feature and a large number of improvements to our existing functionality. In addition to translation, Goggles v1.1 features improved barcode recognition, a larger corpus of artwork, recognition of many more products and logos, an improved user interface, and the ability to initiate visual searches using images in your phone’s photo gallery.
Although this is work in progress but it impresses me a lot, visual search technology would be a revolution in Searching and other search engines like Bing must be keeping an eye on the progress of this feature. However, Computer vision is a hard problem and Google admits that there are many images that cannot yet recognized and The Google Goggles team is working on solving the technical challenges required to make computers see.
Here is a demo video that highlights the features of Google Goggles :
Google Goggles works most effectively to visually search :
And the guys at Google are working to add more to the list. Only drawback which Google Goggles has is that its v1.1 is available on devices running only Android 1.6 and higher. The only way to test this feature for a non Android user must be using Android Emulator.