Google Goggles to read over neighbour's shoulder

Google Goggles to read over neighbour's shoulder
Google Goggles to read over neighbour's shoulder

Google has made some key changes to Google Goggles, with version 1.7 bringing in continuous mode to do away with all that troublesome button pressing and adding text recognition that should be able to recognise what you are looking at and find you an online version.

The potential for Goggles has always been clear, with the visual recognition system allowing you to point your phone at an object and identify and find further details.

However, key new changes bring major enhancements with continuous mode bringing an augmented-reality-like continual image recognition (that's heavily reminiscent of Robocop's targetting system).

"You can now get results instantly without having to take a picture - no shutter press required!" blogged Google's David Petrou.

"Goggles will scan the scene continuously so you don't need to worry about taking multiple pictures.

"The new continuous mode works best with books, products, artwork, and landmarks. Snapshot mode is still available, and has some tricks that aren't in continuous mode yet."

Over the shoulder

Text recognition is, in many ways, even more fascinating with Goggles recognising portions of text that you point your phone at and finding 'close' matches.

So when you see someone reading something interesting on a train you no longer need to look over their shoulder, just take a photo and find the article online or in Google Books.

"You won't even need the entire article in the frame. Goggles will also pull up more information from pages around the web where that text is mentioned, so its easier to learn about what you're seeing," adds Petrou.

Also changing are the way in which the 'suggest better result' option works, with user suggestions available for future searchers.

Goggles 1.7 is available on Android, although continuous mode is only available in Android 2.3 or up.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.