Google Goggles

Since I work in search, I’m always on the hunt for new technologies that make the experience better for the user. Just recently, I’ve taken a closer look at Google Goggles and I have to say that I’m impressed.

Google Goggles is a mobile application that allows for you to search the web using pictures instead of typing or speaking a query. Just open the app, take a photo, and then wait for the search results.

This application is great for things like books, DVDs, landmarks, barcodes, logos, contact info, artwork, businesses, products, or text, but the really cool thing about it is that it can recognize print advertisements and then return a query. Things it’s not so good at identifying: animals, plants, cars, furniture, or apparel.

But the important thing about Google Goggles is that it’s engaging the searcher in a different way. It’s going beyond keyboards and touch screens and instead getting us to think visually about our searches. Granted, we sometimes do this with Google Image searches, but this is so much more beyond that. We can now learn more, with our phones, just by snapping a photo.

The coolest thing that I’ve found with Google Goggles so far is that it can recognize print advertisements, which definitely means that it has some implications on traditional marketing strategies.

I’ve seen bridal ads as examples, but I can see in the future, a much more sophisticated method of interacting with traditional media ads. Maybe you’ll be able to snap a photo of the ad and it can connect you to the store’s customer service department instantly. Maybe you can take a photo and order. Who knows?

I like what Post Advertising had to say on the subject. In fact, I couldn’t agree more:

Google Goggles is proof that brands must transcend physical branding mediums and add a new layers of depth to all of their content. While QR codes and StickyBitz utilize variations on the barcode, Google’s advanced image-capturing system essentially turns everything into its own barcode.

This means that each and every object and product now has the potential to be a digitally enabled, feature-rich piece of content. As the technology improves, consumers will get used to holding up their phone to scan objects rather than typing into search fields. As a result, one would hope that forward-thinking marketers will increasingly design print ads that are maximized for Goggles’ visual search results and take advantage of the new opportunities it affords — hyperlocal deals, more engagement, and meaningful conversations.

More engagement? Yes.
Hyper-local deals? Absolutely.
Meaningful conversation? Let’s hope so.

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2 Responses

  1. This is amazing technology and I’m sure that this is just the beginning. From a photography standpoint, this has amazing implications – the ability to get your ads to link directly to your portfolio images? And beyond?

    Very cool!

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