More loyal to my cellular service company than to my device, it was inevitable, I suppose, to find myself with a Motorola Droid instead of an I-phone. As I plowed through the miniscule, by comparison, app store in search of augments for my new smart phone, I stumbled upon Goggle. Goggle purports to be an app that lets you photograph a person, place or thing and then it searches for the subject based on the image you take with the on-board digital camera.
The App, when launched, opens up your camera’s capture dialog and you are allowed to take a normal photograph of whatever it is you want to search for. Take a photo of the Statue of Liberty and the app will analyze the photo and bring back a Google search result showing information about the Statue of Liberty.
When it returns the results, it asks you to rate the capture/analysis/search combination on a 5-star system. I presume this is so that it can refine the results for future accuracy improvements. On a tip from a fellow Droid owner, my daughter, I decided to photograph one my own photographs.
As a photographer selling images I thought: ‘It would be great if people could see my photograph, capture it with their smart phone and then order it from me. Wouldn’t it?
I set this photograph of a Lake Superior Ice Berg on a chair in my office and snapped a quick picture. This is an image I might have hanging in a gallery and if some one saw it and wanted to know more about me, all they would have to do is capture it with their smart phone and Google Goggles would do the rest.
If all goes well, (and because you are reading this article, it did) Google Goggles will find it and return a good search result.
After taking the picture, Goggles analyzes the image, comparing it to vast amounts of picture data on the web. If it finds a match or matches, it brings them up in a list. For places which you photograph live, it gives you search engine results. For pictures it tries to also give you similar looking images.
The result was a good one. As you can see on the snapshot of the Goggles screen at the left, the first similar image it found was my photo on my own website. Tapping the photo, it brings me to a link for my website and gives me the internet version of the picture for comparison. The link to my website was there for the tapping.
Of course, I couldn’t resist the tapping.
Tapping on the link brought me right to the purchase page on my website where I could physically place an order at my on-line store. What could be simpler? You can see an image on the wall, take a quick photo, and buy it for your own living space-all with in the span of seconds-without access to a traditional computer. Is this the future or what?
I already own this photo have been its capturer so I didn’t buy it. As a photographer with images to sell, I find this tool to be exciting and holding the promise of the world-wide virtual gallery to come.
As a person who just loves cool apps, I find it a great way to source information about anything you can capture with the on-board digital camera in your smart phone.
Rikk Flohr © 2009