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Google Android gets visual search capabilities

Google Android gets visual search capabilities

Google Goggles is the latest addition to the growing number of Android-based functions and offers visual search capabilities built into any compatible smartphone.

The new feature will allow users to take a picture of their surroundings and then send a search request to Google, which will compare it against images held in its data centre and hopefully provide the user with details about the object or location that they have just captured.

Goggles will also allow you to capture entire blocks of text from a piece of paper, or indeed a business card, allowing for easy creation of new contact listings for the people you meet from day to day.

The final function of the new technology is an augmented reality experience that lets users point their built-in cameras at a business and access details about said business or object on their screens.

It is the partnership between the might of Google's centralised data centres and highly capable Android-based smartphones that allows for such advanced features to be offered.

However, despite the ambition behind the new Google Goggles services, the most advanced possibilities are currently in the theoretical stage.

Google announced that although its Goggles service was adept at providing visual searches for covers of books, monuments, contact information and even artwork, there was still a way to go before Android smartphone would be able to recognise cars, plants, clothing or animals.

At the moment Google is making the most of the visual search function in order to provide targeted advertising, allowing people to get the best price on items that they see while out and about and without having to perform the search themselves.

Google Goggles is compatible with all Android smartphones using version 1.6 upwards. No other smartphone platforms will be able to enjoy the enhanced search functions for the time being.

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