Google is Giving its Goggles to the iPhone

No this isn’t a geeky tongue twister even though the title seems to have the makings of such. CNET reports an announcement made by a Google staff engineer at the Hot Chips Conference held at Stanford, about Google’s Goggles app making its way to the iPhone. Turns out it is geared to hit the App Store later this year.

Engineer David Petrou delivered the good news in part of his keynote address in which he stated that pending approval from Apple, Goggles should be available in as little as 3 months time…The basic functionality of the application is to allow users the ability to search web content using their smartphone camera. Once the user snaps the picture it is filtered through a database that houses billions of references to give you your results. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

While Goggles ability and potential are already immense as they stand, a photo of generic item will likely lead to generic results. Prepackaged goods with specific names like books and movies will yield more precise results than a snapshot of a blue truck.

Opening the API and allowing 3rd party applications to use the technology are both being considered to expand its capabilities. Yahoo mentions examples of that openness such as apps where stamp collectors could show annotations after uploading a picture of their collection, or currency conversions after taking a picture of a euro.

Facial recognition is among the capabilities although is not implemented in the current application just yet. Petrou states that if your picture was on the internet 50 times, you would be ranked in the top 5 results nearly half the time with Goggles. He went on to say that due to privacy concerns Google Goggles has steered clear of adding facial recognition. Good thinking, Dave.

I’m excited to see this technology headed to the iPhone. It’s one of those apps whose potential is hard to conceive or grasp until it’s used and explored. Has anyone used Goggles on Android? If so let us know how you think it will function when it makes its debut on our iPhones.