As Google continues to build out its search technology, the company has gradually expanded beyond browser-based text search to include voice and image searches.
The experimental Google Goggles is one such project: an image-based search service that allows people to submit an image and get Web-based search results pulled from Google’s massive archive of indexed photos and images. It’s currently available only on Android-powered smartphones, but a Google developer is working on a side project to incorporate the same functionality into future versions of the company’s Chrome Web browser.
The concept is simple enough: snap an image with your phone, and let Google Goggles search the Web for results based on the image you’ve submitted. But it’s not always easy to execute.
I put Google Goggles to the test on my Motorola Droid running Android 2.0.1. Logos and text seem to be the simplest tasks for Goggles to handle. It had no problem identifying an older version of the CNET logo, returning results with an image of the logo as well as our Web site, cnet.com. Other tests didn’t go quite as well.